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Pirates trade for Steve Lombardozzi

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have announced that they've acquired infielder/outfielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Orioles for cash considerations. Lombardozzi is not the PTBNL in the Travis Snider trade; this is a separate deal.

The Orioles outrighted Lombardozzi in December, so he won't need to go on the Pirates' 40-man roster. The fact that Lombardozzi was outrighted demonstrates that this deal is a minor one -- if the Pirates, or anyone else, had wanted Lombardozzi two months ago, they could've claimed him. This move is probably mostly just designed to replace the depth the Pirates lost when Jake Elmore became a free agent. They might also be preparing to lose Pedro Florimon, who currently doesn't project to make the team and who's out of options.

Which is fine, although Elmore, or Florimon, to Lombardozzi is a downgrade. Elmore can hit and Florimon can field; Lombzardozzi isn't much of a hitter and, despite winning some praise for his fielding, probably isn't a plus fielder either.

Lombardozzi (the son of the former Twins second baseman, in case you were wondering) is only 26, but he's been below replacement level in three of the four seasons in which he's appeared in the big leagues. He got a ton of playing time with the Nationals in 2012 and 2013 but didn't do much with it, and now he has a .266/.297/.341 career batting line. He didn't hit well in Triple-A Norfolk last year, either. That's not a disaster for a utility infielder type, but Lombardozzi doesn't play much shortstop and hasn't posted great UZR numbers.

Anyway, enough with his flaws -- this is just a depth move, and as depth goes, Lombardozzi is decent enough, since he's fairly young, has some big-league experience, and doesn't cost a roster spot. He'll likely bounce around the Indianapolis infield and outfield until the Pirates need him.