The Tigers have sought infield depth since starting second baseman Placido Polanco separated his shoulder diving for a liner on Tuesday, sidelining him for at least a month. Detroit explored a few options before making a move on Sunday, getting Neifi Perez from the Cubs for Class A catcher Chris Robinson.
Perez, 33, will make more of an impact with his glove than his bat. He’s very limited offensively, hitting for a decent average but offering little power, speed or on-base ability. He’s batting .254/.266/.343 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 87 games this year. Perez is versatile enough to handle second base, shortstop and the hot corner, and he has reliable hands and a strong arm. He’s making $2.5 million this season and next, thanks to a two-year deal he signed as a free agent last offseason. Perez is a career .269/.299/.378 hitter with 63 homers and 478 RBIs in 1,349 games.
Robinson, 22, was a third-round pick out of Illinois in 2005. He’s considered more of an asset as a catcher than as a hitter, thanks to his arm strength, receiving ability and leadership skills. In 94 games at high Class A Lakeland, he was hitting .288/.338/.367 with one homer and 47 RBIs.