Jose Iglesias, we hardly knew you.
In a flash as brilliant as your defensive prowess at third base or shortsop, you were gone. Now, you’ll join last season’s Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, and perennial power hitter (and eater) Prince Fielder on a Detroit Tigers team with a stacked infield.
By now, you know (and if you don’t know: What the hell? Have you been living under a rock?) Iglesias was part of a three-team trade Tuesday night that sent him to Detroit and brought pitcher Jake Peavy to Boston from the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox also received minor-league pitcher Brayan Villarreal from the Tigers.
On a team with a seemingly never-ending black hole at shortstop, Iglesias was to be a shining defensive jewel on the left side of the Boston diamond. He and second baseman Dustin Pedroia were supposed to be faces of the franchise.
Baseball, alas, is a business at least as much as it is a pastime. And Iglesias is no longer a Red Sox.
In 98 games over the past three years with the Sox, the slick-fielding infielder strode to home plate 317 times. He culled 81 hits off Major League pitchers in that time and was hitting a surprising .330 at the time of last night’s trade.
But Iglesias was never supposed to be a hitter. Baseball insiders openly questioned whether he would ever hit above .250 in the majors. His glove was what drew Red Sox brass to draft the young Cuban in 2009.
Two years after that draft, a 21-year-old Iglesias made his major league debut. Now, at 23, Iglesias is already considered one of the most skilled defensive players in baseball.
In more than 452 innings played with the Sox, Iglesias has committed just three errors. His fielding percentage this season is a nice, tidy 1.000.
Iglesias will be a hit in the Motor City. We’ll miss him in Boston.