7:26PM: The Royals will receive cash considerations from the Nats in the trade, as per The Athletic’s Maria Torres (via Twitter).
6:41PM: The Nationals are in the process of completing a deal to land minor league shortstop Alcides Escobar from the Royals, reports Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The 34-year-old Escobar has been with Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate and is not on the 40-man roster.
Escobar is most famous for his first run with the Royals. The slick-fielding shortstop was an everyday player and frequent leadoff hitter for Kansas City’s contending clubs of the last decade. His high batting averages were sometimes enough to offset his lack of power and perennially low walk rates, but the speedster’s production tailed off as he entered his 30’s. Escobar struggled offensively each season from 2015-18 and hasn’t appeared in the majors since.
He spent the entire 2019 season with the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate, then signed with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball last year. Escobar returned to the United States in 2021, signing a minors deal with his old club in May. Through 133 plate appearances with Omaha, he’s hit at a passable .274/.311/.452 clip.
That was enough to catch the attention of the Nationals, who have been shorthanded in the infield in recent days. Star shortstop Trea Turner has been dealing with a finger issue. He remains day-to-day, although it’s not clear if the Escobar acquisition suggests he could be facing a stint on the injured list. Expected backup infielder Jordy Mercer just landed on the IL himself, leading the Nats to bring up another former Royal, Humberto Arteaga, from Triple-A this afternoon.