Detroit — Players generally don’t like to hear their name bandied about in trade rumors. It can be unsettling, distracting even.
Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias has a very different take on that. He loves it, welcomes it.
“It’s a good thing,” he said “A lot of people take it as a negative, but it’s a positive thing. Another team wants your services.”
Don’t misunderstand him. He’s not unhappy in Detroit. He just sees trade talk as a win-win for him: If he’s not traded, good – he gets to remain a Tiger. If he is traded, good – another team appreciates what he can do and wants him.
“I am extremely happy where I’m at,” he said. “But I am thankful someone else likes Jose Iglesias at shortstop. It’s a positive thing, for sure.”
During the offseason, the Padres made a pitch for Iglesias. Recently, a couple of contending teams lost shortstops to injury. The Nationals aren’t expected to get Trea Turner back until sometime in August and the Diamondbacks lost Nick Ahmed.
With Tigers’ general manager Al Avila making it known last week that he was open to listening to any and all offers, expect to hear Iglesias’ name pop up in trade chatter.
“Nice,” Iglesias said. “Like I said, I am happy here and I will be happy wherever I will be, as long as I’m playing baseball.”
Iglesias has played both steady and spectacular defense this season. His bat has also started to perk up. He hit .288 in June and on the season is hitting .249 with 15 doubles. Despite his defensive wizardry, and the fact that he’s a former All-Star with a career .271 average, his name is seldom mentioned among the game’s top shortstops.
“That doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “They are exceptional players. Teams around the league know what I can bring to the table – that’s the main thing. I don’t take it personal. They talk about Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts – they are great players. They hit for power and that’s attractive, that’s sexy.
“But teams definitely appreciate the little things you can do for them.”
Iglesias said glut of talented young shortstops is motivating.
“There’s a lot of competition and it’s a fun competition,” he said. “It’s very healthy. Each and every night, being in a position to make plays for your team, it’s fun. It used to be there wasn’t as much (talent), like back in 2012 and 2013. But since those young guys have come up, things have gotten more exciting at shortstop.
“They are all good players and I am happy to see them playing so well.”
If the Tigers do end up trading Iglesias – and as of Saturday there was no confirmed trade proposal on the table -- Dixon Machado and Andrew Romine would most likely share the shortstop position.