ROY DABNER / AP Enlarge
DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers addressed another need, acquiring outfielder Jacque Jones yesterday from the Chicago Cubs for utility player Omar Infante.
"Our scouts really like him and how he fits because he's a left-handed hitter that can play all three spots in the outfield," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in a telephone interview. "But I think it was a great trade for both teams because Infante can really help a National League team because he can play short, second, third and in the outfield."
Jones, who took over as Chicago's starting center fielder in the second half of the 2007 season, is expected to split time in left field with Marcus Thames and be an option in center behind Curtis Granderson and in right backing up Magglio Ordonez.
Jones hit .285 with 33 doubles, five homers and 66 RBIs in 135 games last season, coming close to matching the production he has had over his nine seasons. He signed with the Cubs as a free agent before the 2006 season after playing for the Minnesota Twins from 1999-2005.
"He gives us another left-handed bat that we wanted in the lineup," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said. "He's also an established major league winning player that gives us some flexibility in the outfield."
Infante batted .271 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 66 games with Detroit this year. He played six positions and made his most appearances at second base in 20 games. He also played shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions.
The Tigers filled their No. 1 need two weeks ago, trading for all-star shortstop Edgar Renteria from Atlanta for two prospects.
Detroit also re-signed closer Todd Jones to a one-year, $7 million contract yesterday.
Re-signing Jones became even more important when reliever Joel Zumaya had shoulder surgery, costing him at least the first half of the 2008 season.
Jones saved 38 games for the Tigers last season, a year after saving 37 games while helping them earn a postseason bid for the first time since 1987. He had four more in the postseason as Detroit reached the World Series. He turns 40 in April.
In 15 seasons the right-hander has 301 saves and a 3.93 ERA.
Dombrowski is now focused on adding a veteran starting pitcher in case free agent Kenny Rogers goes elsewhere. Dombrowski said he has offered a contract to Rogers.
"In Kenny's case, they said last week that they wanted to see what was out there," he said. "If [Rogers decides] not to come back here today, we need to be open-minded."42.33168 -83.04792