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UPDATED: Nats trade Escobar to L.A. Angels for 2 pitchers


UPDATED: Nats trade Escobar to L.A. Angels for 2 pitchers

UPDATED: 7:00 p.m.

After just one season in Washington, infielder Yunel Escobar has been traded by the Nationals to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of right-handed pitchers. The team made the news official on Thursday evening.

In return for Escobar, the Nationals get talented young reliever Trevor Gott and 28-year-old minor leaguer Michael Brady.

Gott, 23, had a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances in 2015, his first season in the big leagues. He has a fastball that reaches 98 and averaged 96.1 miles per hour last season, good for 26th in the majors. He also relies on a curveball and a changeup.

Brady has pitched six seasons in the minors and has a 3.08 career ERA in 251 total appearances. He began his professional career with the Marlins before joining the Angels - who claimed him off waivers - after the 2013 season. Brady has primarily been a relief pitcher during his pro career, but did make 19 starts in 32 total outings in 2015.

The Nationals trading Escobar is essentially them selling high after what was one of the best seasons of Escobar's nine-year MLB career. He was acquired the previous winter in a trade with the Oakland Athletics that included reliever Tyler Clippard.

Escobar, who just turned 33, thrived during his one year in D.C. with a .314/.375/.415 slash line, 75 runs and 25 doubles in 139 games. He played primarily at third base for the first time in his career and produced mixed results defensively.

Escobar's departure gives the Nationals some freedom in their infield, specifically to put Anthony Rendon back at his natural position of third base. They can then turn to Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner to fill their middle infield positions, or go out and acquire somebody new, as it is known they were interested in Ben Zobrist before he signed with the Cubs.

Gott is yet another bullpen acquisition for the Nats, who are reconstructing their relief staff this winter. He joins veterans Yusmeiro Petit and Oliver Perez as new additions. They are also expected to have right-hander Shawn Kelley in store, though his deal has not been made official by the team.

Acquiring Gott leaves the Nationals with 37 players currently on their 40-man roster.

[RELATED: Dusty Baker talks Papelbon, Bonds and more at Winter Meetings

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Strasburg, Scherzer get in heated conversation after ugly inning


Strasburg, Scherzer get in heated conversation after ugly inning

The Washington Nationals have had a less than ideal season thus far.

The reigning N.L. East champs entered the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of first place, have a new manager that has gotten his fair share of criticism, are riddled with injuries contributing to a lengthy disabled list and seem to be frustrated to no end on the baseball field.

In his first game back following a right shoulder injury that landed him on the DL for over a month, Stephen Strasburg started Friday night's game in Washington against the Braves, one of tewo teams above the Nats in the East standings.

Following a poor outing in the fifth inning in which Davey Martinez decided to pull Strasburg, fellow ace Max Scherzer attempted to greet the starter. Strasburg brushed Scherzer off as he sat down on the bench and the two got into what seemed like a very heated exchange.

The Nationals never recovered from Strasburg's start and fell to the Braves 8-5 in Washington.

The frustration was evident as Martinez met with Scherzer and Strasburg to hash out the argument, delaying postgame clubhouse access to the media while their meeting was going on.

The meeting was kept under lock by Martinez, Scherzer, and Strasburg, who chalked it up to just being a part of the "family."

According to Martinez, the dugout conversation was hashed out and he immediately brushed it off when pressed for questions.

The Nationals look to even up the series against The Braves in Washington tonight.


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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

Friday night marks the first second-half game of Major League Baseball's 162-game season. 

The Washington Nationals begin 5.5 games out of the first-place Phillies and host the second-place Braves for a three-game series before traveling to Milwaukee. 

One big piece to Dave Martinez's staff who has been missing since June 8 is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander was activated from the DL and will start on the mound Friday night. 

Ryan Zimmerman was also activated but is not in Martinez's starting lineup. 

Prior to experiencing inflammation in his right shoulder during a June 8 start that forced him out of the game early, Strasburg saw flashes of dominance throughout his 13 starts owning a 3.46 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Zimmerman hasn't played since May 9 due to a strained right oblique. With the emergence of Matt Adams, it will be interesting to see how Martinez uses both guys throughout the summer. 

Here is a look at Friday night's official lineup: 

According to Byron Kerr, Zimmerman is still happy to be back, despite not being in the starting lineup. 

Catch the Nationals hosting the Braves Friday at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2.