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Thursday, May 16
Expos deal Truby to Tigers for utilityman Macias

Associated Press

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers took a step toward improving their defensive problems Thursday, acquiring third baseman Chris Truby from the Montreal Expos for utilityman Jose Macias.

Jose Macias

Chris Truby

Truby, 28, was hitting .257 with two homers for Montreal, but is a solid defensive player.

"Chris is an above-average defender with a little pop in his bat," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "Hopefully, he can help us address some defensive problems. There are times this year where our pitching has been good, but let down by the defense."

Craig Paquette had been starting at third base, but his poor defense had been a major factor in the Tigers allowing a major league-leading 30 unearned runs in 38 games. Detroit has only scored five unearned runs.

"We didn't envision Craig as our everyday third baseman -- we wanted him to play there a couple times a week to relieve Dean Palmer, but then Dean wasn't able to play the field," Dombrowski said. "Now Craig will be able to return to his role of playing all over the field."

The Expos played in Los Angeles on Thursday night, so the Tigers weren't sure if Truby would arrive in time for Friday's series opener against Texas. When he does arrive, he'll move right into the starting lineup.

"I think Chris can help us right now," Dombrowski said. "And he has the potential to help us for quite a while. I'm not projecting he's going to be an All-Star, but he can become a solid player."

Macias, 28, started the year as Detroit's center fielder, but moved to second base after Damion Easley's injury. Macias, who is hitting just .234, eventually lost that job to Damian Jackson and returned to last year's role as a utility player.

Macias started his career in the Expos organization, but moved to the Tigers in the minor league Rule 5 draft in 1996.

"It feels good to go back to my old team," Macias said before leaving Comerica Park on Thursday. "I'm going to miss the guys here, but I have a lot of friends from my minor league days."

Macias is especially close to Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

"He's my best friend," Macias said. "We played together in the minors, and I'm actually the godfather of his daughter."

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