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Nationals to acquire Alcides Escobar from Royals

Washington is in desperate need of infield help after losing Jordy Mercer

Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have found some much-needed infield help in an interesting fashion, striking a deal to acquire shortstop Alcides Escobar from the Kansas City Royals.

What makes this trade so intriguing is that Escobar is currently in Triple-A and hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 with Kansas City. He spent three years with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2008 to 2010, then joined the Royals for the next eight seasons. He spent Spring Training with the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 but was released before the regular season began. He then spent just over three months with the Chicago White Sox on a minor league deal.

Alcides did not spend any time on a roster in 2020. He returned to the Royals on a minor league deal two months ago and has slashed .274/.311/.452 with five homers, 16 RBI, six walks, and 29 strikeouts through 35 games at Triple-A this year. He’s also been quite solid in the field, posting a .975 fielding percentage. The 34-year-old has spent the majority of his time at shortstop but has also patrolled second and third base.

The Nationals are hurting for infield depth right now, especially after placing Jordy Mercer on the 10-day injured list with a strained quad earlier on Friday. That leaves an infield of just Josh Bell, Josh Harrison, Trea Turner (day-to-day with a finger injury), and Starlin Castro. They also selected the contract of Humberto Arteaga, so it will be interesting to see if Escobar reports to the majors or Triple-A.