The Angels have acquired infielder Danny Espinosa from the Nationals for right-handers Kyle McGowin and Austin Adams, according to a club announcement. Baseball America’s Josh Norris was first to report the trade.
The deal comes just hours after the Washington Post reported that Espinosa skipped the Nationals’ annual Winterfest because he was unhappy with his new role. Espinosa was a likely bench candidate after the club’s addition of Adam Eaton forced Trea Turner back to shortstop.
Espinosa will take over as the Angels’ starting second baseman, joining C.J. Cron, Andrelton Simmons and Yunel Escobar in the club’s infield. The Angels spent much of the Winter Meetings looking for a second baseman, considering free agents like Chase Utley and Stephen Drew as well as trade candidates like Yangervis Solarte and Kolten Wong.
Espinosa, 29, has spent his entire 7-year major-league career with Washington and is slated to become a free agent after the season. The veteran is a career .226/.302/.388 hitter with 92 career homers, and had a 24-homer power surge in 157 games last season.
McGowin, 25, was ranked by MLB.com as the 20th-best prospect in a very weak Angels’ system at the time of the deal. The former 5th-rounder spent last season split between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake, posting a 5.83 ERA in 27 starts.
Adams, 25, split last season between the Angels’ rookie-league affiliate and Double-A, posting a posting a 3.05 ERA in 34 relief appearances.