Dec 10, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
UPDATED: 7:00 p.m.
After just one season in Washington, infielder Yunel Escobar has been traded by the Nationals to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of right-handed pitchers. The team made the news official on Thursday evening.
In return for Escobar, the Nationals get talented young reliever Trevor Gott and 28-year-old minor league starter Michael Brady.
Gott, 23, had a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances in 2015, his first season in the big leagues. He has a fastball that reaches 98 and averaged 96.1 miles per hour last season, good for 26th in the majors. He also relies on a curveball and a changeup.
Brady has pitched six seasons in the minors and has a 3.08 career ERA in 251 total appearances. He began his professional career with the Marlins before joining the Angels – who claimed him off waivers – after the 2013 season.
The Nationals trading Escobar is essentially them selling high after what was one of the best seasons of Escobar’s nine-year MLB career. He was acquired the previous winter in a trade with the Oakland Athletics that included reliever Tyler Clippard.
Escobar, who just turned 33, thrived during his one year in D.C. with a .314/.375/.415 slash line, 75 runs and 25 doubles in 139 games. He played primarily at third base for the first time in his career and produced mixed results defensively.
Escobar’s departure gives the Nationals some freedom in their infield, specifically to put Anthony Rendon back at his natural position of third base. They can then turn to Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner to fill their middle infield positions, or go out and acquire somebody new, as it is known they were interested in Ben Zobrist before he signed with the Cubs.
Gott is yet another bullpen acquisition for the Nats, who are reconstructing their relief staff this winter. He joins veterans Yusmeiro Petit and Oliver Perez as new additions. They are also expected to have right-hander Shawn Kelley in store, though his deal has not been made official by the team.
Acquiring Gott leaves the Nationals with 37 players currently on their 40-man roster.
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