The Nationals announced they’ve placed infielder Alcides Escobar on unconditional release waivers. The move clears an active roster spot for Luke Voit, who is expected to join the club tomorrow. Washington’s 40-man roster count drops to 39.
Escobar has spent the past season and a half in the nation’s capital. The veteran had been playing on a minor league deal when the Nats acquired him last July while Trea Turner was battling an injury. Washington brought Escobar almost immediately to the big leagues, and he became the primary shortstop after Turner was dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. It was his first MLB action in three years, and the longtime Kansas City shortstop acquitted himself well.
Through 349 plate appearances, Escobar hit .288/.340/.404 with four home runs and a trio of steals. He didn’t walk often or hit for much power, but he only struck out at a 16% clip and hit for a high enough batting average to remain productive. Unsurprisingly, he no longer rated as highly with the glove as he had at his peak, but he was a valuable enough experienced presence that Washington signed him to a $1MM extension last October.
Escobar’s 2022 production hasn’t been good, however. He’s seen his offensive output plummet to .218/.260/.282 through 131 trips to the plate. He’s striking out more often than average (24.4%) for the first time in his career, and he’s collected just six extra-base hits (four doubles and two triples). Escobar has also been charged with five errors in 307 2/3 innings at shortstop, and he’s lost playing time as the rebuilding Nats have looked to younger players. Luis García has taken over as the primary shortstop, and while the 22-year-old is miscast there, Washington just brought in rookie shortstop C.J. Abrams in the Juan Soto trade.
Given Escobar’s struggles, it’s hard to envision another team claiming him on waivers. The 35-year-old would be a free agent if he passes through unclaimed and seems likely to explore minor league opportunities elsewhere.
Wow, no comments for this player. How people forget so quickly.
The Man 38
As a royals fan he was yet another one of our overrated players during our window of relevance in 2013-2017. His 2012 season was good and that’s about it. Career .640 OPS hitter who’s defense and speed was great but would regress.
Like all his overrated teammates – all he did was win.
The Royals WS team won due to having a lot of players step up that season. That said, most of the love for guys like Hosmer and Moose, for example, has faded with time. Escobar was a good SS for several years. Not a star.
Having watched at least 80% of their games from mid-2013 on through the WS, that team won because they played strong, smart fundamental baseball. Their hitters put the ball in play, ran on the opposition, and forced them into mistakes. They stole bases – even did delayed steals which I’m sure you know nothing about. They played strong all around defense – there wasn’t one subpar defender out there at any time (Butler was made into a DH and subsequently traded.) They hit behind their runners and threw behind opposition runners. They had 3 lights-out relivers for the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings so teams knew they had to beat them early. Their starters were at best decent, and that’s all they had to be.
Dismissing them as getting “hot” or something is an incredibly ignorant statement. A team doesn’t get hot for 2-1/2 seasons. It was a classic TEAM – that played far better than the sum of its parts.
They fell apart when veterans come up for FA and the small market Royals couldn’t pay them. In short, they played a brand of baseball that you and others that live off of spreadsheets do not – and will never – understand. And because you don’t understand it you have to make sweeping belittling statements because their numbers just didn’t add up to you.
I’ve not seen a young team – or any team – like them until this years Orioles. They will be going to the WS multiple times in the near future.
Uh, yeah, no. I am someone who lives off the spreadsheet and also understands how good that team is…part of which can be directly attributed to the numbers they put up.
Beyond the numbers, Dayton Moore built a clubhouse culture that was both positive and resolute. Not only that, he built his team around defense and base running…something not usually seen in modern baseball.
For those who question how good they were, look up condensed postseason games from 2014 and 2015 with the Royals. That 2014 Wild Card Game and 2015 ALDS Game 4 in particular are memorable to me, though not happily with the latter.
The Man 38
As a royals fan I enjoyed the 2015 World Series win, but baseball in general is a numbers game. Our team won through clutch, defense and one of the most dominate bullpens the game has ever seen. But in general, our players weren’t as good as promoted. People thought Hosmer would be one of baseball’s best and look how that turned out. Much like I said, I don’t expect anyone but royals fans to really remember the career of Esky. He had a good season or two and had a huge moment in the World Series but outside of that he was a very bad hitter who’s speed and defense would fade away.
@samuel, you may be right, but man do you have a douchey way of saying it.
Yep. Pirates and O’s in the ‘29 series. A 50 year reunion, too
I thought it was appropriate in every way. Acides Escobar wasn’t overrated or overhyped. He was largely unnoticed. He didn’t just step up during the KCR run, he was a perfect fit for that team. He is the best SS in franchise history to date.
@The Man: So Escobar was a Royals fan?
How the Nats just get rid of all their star power all at once??
Dude has an outside chance of getting 3,000 professional hits in his career. That’s pretty impressive regardless of what leagues they were compiled in.
You’re talking with minor league stats, huh?
I don’t know what you’re looking at but you click on his name he doesn’t even have 1500 hits where you see 3,000 lay off the meds
Escobar has 2,718 hits when we include minor leagues and Japanese league and so on. “Professional hits” not “MLB hits.”
I know people consider the minor leagues “professional baseball” but I mean even I played in the minor leagues.
Did you get 2,718 hits, professionally? That’s a number that impresses me.
Did you really?! EITH what team?
Maybe he is including bong hits?!
Could be to p/u Lament….?
Bummer. He provided an expected spark in 2021, but with Abrams on the way & Garcia providing a mainstay, he was the odd man out.
End of an era…..
I respectively disagree, with the assessment that he will no longer merit, a big league placement.
I can see him as a valuable bench piece, not to mention, a veteran presence and calming aura.
I wouldn’t mind the Rays, taking a flier and giving Taylor Walls, more minors experience.
Walls wasn’t expected to play SS as much but due to Franco’s injuries he has. He has been able to hit a few HRs lately but I’m not sure Escobar will be a huge improvement over Walls at this point.
On another note;
Luke Voit to the Nats?!
Is this in lieu of Hosmer?
I must have missed this transaction.
Does anyone have any information on this development?
Found the information Voit was in place of Hosmer.
The Nats would have walked away w/o Hosmer being in the deal! Preller was like, wait! I know nothing can make up for Hosmer not being included! Nobody is as good as him at 1B, but Voit is almost as good and has been learning from the Master for 4 months. Some of Hosmer’s prowess has got to have rubbed off on him! Won’t you please accept Luke in his stead?
Man, that Voit strikes out a LOT…..
The clock struck midnight and Escobar turned back into a pumpkin