The Washington Nationals have dealt infielder Yunel Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. FOX Sports' Jon Morosi was the first to report that the two teams were talking about the 33-year-old.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported that Trevor Gott and a minor leaguer are the exchange with the Nationals for Escobar.
The trade works well for Angels as they needed a third baseman, but the free agent market was just too weak in that category. Escobar is owed $7 million in 2016 with a $7 million option for 2017, which has a $1 million buyout for that same season. That should keep the Angels well below the luxury tax threshold.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Angels added Escobar to have him play third base, but if Los Angeles brings back David Freese, the team will shift Escobar to second base. Because Escobar offers Los Angeles defensive flexibility, they will probably not go resign Freese, but anything is possible.
Escobar, who was drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves, slashed .314/.375/.415 during 2015 with Washington and played third base the entire season. Escobar has not played second base since his rookie season in 2007, but has worked at shortstop. The nine-year veteran has played for the Braves (2007-2010), Toronto Blue Jays (2010-2012), Tampa Bay Rays ( 2013-2014) and the Nationals (2015). Escobar added to his impressive slash line with nine home runs and 56 RBI in 139 games.
Washington will upgrade their bullpen depth with the addition of Gott, who was a sixth round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres out of the University of Kentucky. Gott was traded on July 19, 2014 from the Padres with Huston Street to the Angels for Taylor Lindsey, Elliot Morris, Jose Rondon and R.J. Alvarez.
Gott made his debut at the major league level for the Halos on June 14, 2015 and threw a perfect relief inning against the Oakland Athletics. Over the season, Gott went 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 1.238 WHIP and 1.69 strikeout-to-walk over 47.2 innings across 48 appearances.
The 23-year-old is a long-term addition to the bullpen that will continue to be remodeled as he will not hit free agency until 2022.