In a swap of utility fielders and organizational depth, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that offseason acquisition Jake Elmore has elected free agency, while Steve Lombardozzi has been acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations.
Elmore, 27, was originally outrighted to Triple-A on Jan. 30 but has since opted out of his minor-league assignment. The now-free agent hit .281 over 72 games with Triple-A Louisville in 2014 and was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on Nov. 30.
Replenishing the organization’s options across the diamond, the 26-year-old Lombardozzi joins Pittsburgh’s system having seen action at second base (459 games) shortstop (25 games), left field (22 games) and third base during his seven-year career in the minors. He spent the majority of the most recent campaign primarily as an infielder with Triple-A Norfolk and Baltimore, hitting .270 in 78 games with the Tides and .288 in 20 games with the Orioles.
Originally selected by Washington in the 19th round (571st overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Lombardozzi burst onto the scene in 2011 with honors as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Nationals system (by Baseball America) and his Major League debut.
The switch-hitting utility player will enter the 2015 season with a .266 career average in the big leagues in 277 games with the Nationals (2011-13) and Orioles (2014). In addition and including his 2014 stint with Norfolk, Lombardozzi has also hit .295 over 525 minor-league games.