VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals finalized their 25-man roster this afternoon, trading out-of-options infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Erik Davis.
The team had been trying to trade Gonzalez for the last several weeks, giving him more playing time than usual in a likely attempt to showcase him to other teams. He would have likely been cut before opening day if the team had not found a trade partner, since it wanted to keep Alex Cora as a utility infielder.
In return, the Nationals get Davis, a 6-foot-4 right-hander who went from high-A ball to Triple-A Portland in the Padres' system last year. He has a career mark of 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings in the minors, and a solid 1.236 WHIP in three seasons. A 13th-round pick in the 2008 draft, Davis played at Stanford with Nationals closer Drew Storen. He has a chance to be a solid prospect for the team; it's likely he'll start at Double-A Harrisburg, having only pitched one game at the Triple-A level last year.
Davis also made a remarkable recovery after getting hit in the face with a line drive while playing in the Cape Cod League. ESPN.com wrote about his return here.