Tigers deal for infield depth, get Cubs' Perez
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers acquired Neifi Perez from the Chicago Cubs on Sunday for a minor leaguer, adding infield depth less than a week after losing second baseman Placido Polanco because of a shoulder injury.
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"He's a legitimate everyday player and an outstanding utility player," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said.
Perez played 87 games for the Cubs this season and hit .254 with two homers and 24 RBI. The 11-year veteran has a career .269 average with the Cubs, San Francisco, Kansas City and Colorado.
Polanco is expected to be out for at least a month and perhaps as long as six weeks. He was put on the disabled list after separating his left shoulder Tuesday while making a tumbling catch at Boston.
Dombrowski said he is confident Polanco can come back this season, adding Perez can help after Polanco returns because he's a switch-hitter. Dombrowski acknowledged that he talked to several teams about players that could help the Tigers at second base.
Perez played 53 games at second base, making him an option when the Tigers don't play Omar Infante. He also played 21 games at shortstop, giving them a choice when they give Carlos Guillen a day off, and 10 more games at third base.
"I think he's an ideal guy to plug in for the Tigers as they try to maintain their success," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.
Hendry said he didn't have serious dialogue with Dombrowski until an hour or two before Sunday's deal after the Tigers had scouts in Chicago the previous couple of days.
"He maybe pursued some people that weren't available," Hendry said.
In the trade, the Tigers gave up catcher Chris Robinson. He hit .286 with a homer and 47 RBI at Single-A Lakeland. His contract is expected to be assigned to Single-A Daytona by the Cubs.
Hendry said Robinson is an outstanding defensive catcher.
"It's a good fit for us," he said. "Not many people have catching up and down the system."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press