Espinosa Trade Could Not Be Much More Ideal

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Updated: February 20, 2017

When the Washington Nationals picked up Adam Eaton back in December, Danny Espinosa became dispensable. The Nationals’ move automatically meant speedster Trea Turner would be making the conversion to shortstop. This certainly posed a problem for Espinosa.

MLB.com writer Maria Guardado composed an article this past Friday that noted Espinosa’s stance toward his old team back East.

“‘The position I was left in in Washington, I was ready to get out of there. I think time had run its course there. I was happy to be here, happy to come home and see the opportunity that this team has to win.’”

The fact that Espinosa is indeed coming back to familiar territory is intriguing to be cognizant of. He is a graduate of Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA), a program with a more storied history than most. Accordingly, that awkward adjustment phrase ninety plus percent of other players have to go through after a trade will not be an issue this time around. Thankfully, the team’s newbie seems to like the change of scenery after having spent the entirety of his career in the nation’s capital.

Mike Tulumello of The News Tribune proves this by getting across the local ball player’s outlook on the situation at hand.

“‘I’m ecstatic to be traded to the Angels,’ he [Espinosa] said. ‘It’s like a dream to play for your hometown team.’”

What is also encouraging to take into consideration is the rock solid defense he brings to the table. The past couple seasons the Halos have been deficient in this area at this specific position. While Johnny Giavotella came up in the clutch now and again during his short stint with the Angels, he was a liability on the diamond. The acquisition of Danny should flip things in the opposite direction. Undeniably, he is an upgrade.

On a similar vein, Espinosa will be pairing up with arguably the game’s best on the other side of second base in former Gold Glove winner, Andrelton Simmons. This makes the trade all the more exciting for the ball club since it will likely minimize the amount of runs pitchers give up. Since the bullpen in particular was overworked in 2016, such a duo could provide some much-needed relief for the staff at large. The Espinosa/Simmons combination up the middle could easily end up being the scariest in the majors in 2017.

Perhaps the one distinct downside to Espinosa’s game is when his offensive abilities are scrutinized. His batting average has never exceeded .250. Moreover, his strikeout ratio is not the most bewitching mark in the world. On the bright side, the Halos’ second baseman smacked a career high 24 round-trippers last year while collecting 72 RBIs.  As a result, the pop in his bat is one plus to look at amidst the not so comely weaknesses.

Although we cannot know how 2017 will turn out, the potential of Espinosa makes him a great asset to the organization. Him being a hometown boy, so to speak, is only icing on top. This factor may even play a role in doing just enough to squeak his typical slash line up a notch or two. Who knows?



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