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Yunel Escobar to Angels: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2015

Washington Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar (5) bats during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, in Washington. The Padres won 6-5. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals have reached an agreement Thursday to trade infielder Yunel Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for pitchers Trevor Gott and Michael Brady, announced the Angels.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reported the Angels were getting $1.5 million as part of the trade, likely to help pay Escobar's salary. 

Escobar became expendable for Washington because of a crowded infield depth chart looking toward 2016. Anthony Rendon, Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman all figure to play key roles, and promising prospect Trea Turner is nearing his full-time arrival.     

Given that uncertain path to playing time, the Nationals opted to move Escobar now in order to upgrade elsewhere while his value was reasonably strong.

The 33-year-old natural shortstop spent all of his time at third base last season. He put together one of his most complete campaigns at the plate, posting a .314 average and .375 on-base percentage with nine home runs and 75 runs scored in 139 games.

It's fair to wonder whether he can replicate that success, though. He's a contact hitter—just 70 strikeouts and 45 walks in 2015—and that means he depends on a bit of luck to have consistent success. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was 41 points higher than his career mark, per FanGraphs.

That said, the Angels were seeking to bolster their roster at both second base and third base. Escobar can play either of those positions while also providing additional depth behind defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons at shortstop if needed.

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Even if his offensive numbers drop off a bit as his BABIP comes down to a more typical level, he should be a solid pickup for a Los Angeles club that finished 20th in runs scored last season.

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