Angels acquire infielder Yunel Escobar in trade with Nationals

December 11, 2015

The Angels announced that they have acquired infielder Yunel Escobar from the Washington Nationals in exchange for righty reliever Trevor Gott and pitcher Michael Brady.

Escobar, 33, is a versatile infielder who can play multiple positions.  He can also hit, as seen by his .314 (168/535) average with 25 doubles, nine home runs, and 56 RBI in 139 games for Washington in 2015.

Among National League leaders, he ranked sixth in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage (.375) and eighth with 49 multi-hit games. In addition, he led Major League third basemen in batting average and on-base percentage and ranked second among National League third basemen (min. 100 games) with a .970 fielding percentage. Escobar also set a new career-high with three leadoff home runs.

Escobar could play at either second or third base this season, although third is the most logical position given the fact that the Angels have not signed last year's starter, free agent David Freese.

Still, Escobar is a former shortstop who perhaps could transition to second to form a quality double-play tandem with newly-acquired star shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

A native of La Habana, Cuba, Escobar has compiled a career batting average of .281 (1248/4448) with 210 doubles, 78 home runs and 449 RBI across nine Major League seasons with the Braves (2007-10), Blue Jays (2010-12), Rays (2013-14) and Nationals (2015). He is one of 14 players to record at least 100 hits in each of the last nine seasons.

Escobar appeared in the 2013 postseason with Tampa Bay where he batted .421 (8/19) with two doubles and two RBI across the Rays five playoff games. During the 2013 ALDS vs. Boston, he hit .467 (7/15) and became the first player in Rays history with three consecutive multi-hit games in postseason play.

Gott, 23, appeared in 48 games in his rookie campaign for the Angels in 2015, going 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA (47.2 IP – 16 ER). The Kentucky native made his Major League debut with the Halos on June 14 vs. Oakland and began his career with nine consecutive scoreless outings, displaying a good fastball along the way.

Brady, 28, spent the 2015 season pitching with Double-A Arkansas, going 7-7 with a 3.77 ERA (119.1 IP – 50 ER) in 32 games (19 starts). Since being claimed off waivers prior to the 2014 season from Miami, Brady has combined to post an 8-13 record with a 4.04 (187.1 IP – 84 ER) in 77 games as an Angel farmhand. The former 24th round selection by the Marlins owns a career minor league record of 20-21 with a 3.08 ERA (385.1 IP – 132 ER).

By Staff of and news services

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