Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The Nationals traded a second baseman to the Detroit Tigers as a part of the deal to acquire starting pitcher Doug Fister. But the second baseman in question was named Steve Lombardozzi, not Danny Espinosa. This means that Espinosa will not be given a fresh start after floundering in the Nationals' system during the 2013 season.
Perhaps a shot with a new team would have been the best way to erase the memory of a painful season. Espinosa batted .158 in 158 at-bats over 44 games, while hitting three home runs, driving in 12 runs and scoring 11 runs. Espinosa had only four walks versus 47 strikeouts and compiled a .193 on-base percentage with a .272 slugging percentage
The California native did not fare much better in the minors. He hit .216 in 283 at-bats over 75 games with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, with two home runs, 22 RBI and 32 runs scored. Espinosa had 19 walks and 101 strikeouts for a .280 on-base percentage, to go with a .286 slugging percentage.
But by not being traded from the Nationals, Espinosa will be given a second chance with the team he debuted with in 2010. For the 2014 season, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo envisions Espinosa as a super utility infielder, as he told Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post on Dec. 9:
I think Danny Espinosa could go and play third base extremely well. A guy who can play shortstop the way he plays shortstop and a guy who can play second base the way he plays second, I have all the confidence in the world that he can go to third and handle the position defensively.
Espinosa may view his role as a substitute as a loss. But the fact that he still has a chance to contribute to a major league roster should be viewed as a win.