The Baltimore Orioles completed their third trade in five days yesterday, sending utility infielder Rene Gonzales to the Toronto Blue Jays for Rob Blumberg, a minor league pitcher who has been assigned to the Class AA affiliate in Hagerstown.
Orioles General Manager Roland Hemond said Gonzales had approached him before the Major Leagues' winter meetings and requested a trade to a team on which he would have the opportunity to play shortstop, the position held in Baltimore by Cal Ripken Jr.
Because the Orioles believe infielders Juan Bell, Tim Hulett and Jeff McKnight can play shortstop if necessary, Hemond said the club was able to accommodate Gonzales. With the Blue Jays, he will compete with Manny Lee and youngster Eddie Zosky for the position vacated when Toronto traded Tony Fernandez to the Padres.
Baltimore received a 23-year-old left-hander who has been a starter for his two minor league seasons. In those two seasons, mostly at Class A, Blumberg is 16-10 with a 2.22 earned run average. In 226 2/3 innings, he has struck out 234 while allowing 174 hits and 102 walks.
He is the third minor league pitcher the Orioles have acquired this offseason. They received David Martinez and Mike Hook from the Angels for outfielder Dave Gallagher.
In addition, they traded catcher Mickey Tettleton to the Tigers on Saturday for pitcher Jeff Robinson after trading starter Pete Harnisch, reliever Curt Schilling and outfielder Steve Finley to the Astros on Thursday for first baseman Glenn Davis.
"It's been a very productive week," Hemond said. "Now we'll be back concentrating on contract negotiations." Foremost, will be negotations with Davis. He has filed for arbitration and will be eligible to become a free agent after the 1991 season.
Also, the Orioles announced they will conduct tours of their new ballpark at Camden Yards as part of their winter carnival, Feb. 2 at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore.