The Washington Nationals acquired infielder Yunel Escobar from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Escobar, an eight-year Major League veteran, joins the Nationals after stops in Atlanta (2007-10), Toronto (2010-12) and Tampa Bay (2012-14). He was traded to the A’s just four days ago (Jan. 10), along with infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, in exchange for catcher John Jaso, infielder Daniel Robertson, outfielder Boog Powell and cash considerations.
The slick-fielding infielder is a career .276 hitter with a .347 on-base percentage and a .381 slugging percentage. A shortstop for the majority of his Major League career, Escobar has started 950 games at shortstop since 2008 - the most in the Major Leagues over that span. Escobar started 20 games for the Braves at second base in 2007 - a season after which he finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year voting - and has experience at third base as well.
Escobar, 32, hit .258 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in 137 games for Tampa Bay in 2014. In his previous two seasons, both with the Rays, Escobar has averaged 145 games played and hit .257 with a .328 on-base percentage, 45 doubles, 16 home runs and 95 RBI.
Against National League opponents (472 games), Escobar is a career .291 hitter with a .366 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage.
After defecting from Cuba in 2004, Escobar was drafted by the Braves in the second round (No. 75 overall) of the 2005 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Clippard, 29, went 34-24 with 34 saves and a 2.68 ERA in 414 games spanning seven seasons with Washington.
Acquired in Dec., 2007, from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo, Clippard is the only reliever to appear in more than 70 games each of the last five seasons (2010-14). He went 7-4 with one save and a 2.18 ERA in 2014 and, for the second time in his career (also 2011), led Major League Baseball in holds with 40. His 2014 season was just the third 40-hold campaign in MLB history (Tampa Bay Rays’ Joel Peralta 41 in 2013, San Diego Padres’ Luke Gregerson 40 in 2010).