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Storylines: Nationals deal Danny Espinosa to Angels

The Nationals completed another deal sending infielder Danny Espinosa to the Angels on Saturday. That and all the others news and notes from around baseball...

Top Storylines:

- The Washington Nationals made headlines earlier in the week when they agreed to a blockbuster deal to acquire Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton in exchange for top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning.  Their big acquisition has left infielder Danny Espinosa with a bitter taste in his mouth though as he was not thrilled to be relegated to a bench role in the upcoming season.  That potential issue was resolved after he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday in exchange for minor leaguer pitchers Kyle McGowin and Austin Adams per Josh Norris of Baseball America.  After acquiring Eaton, the Nationals were expected to move rookie phenom Trea Turner back to his original position of shortstop pushing Espinosa to the bench.  The Nationals had discussed an Andrew McCutchen deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates days before the Winter Meetings and were reportedly hoping to get a deal done before the non-tender deadline so they could make a definitive call on Espinosa’s role with the team.  They were unable to strike a deal and ended up tendering him a contract.  Now that they had acquired Eaton, it made Espinosa the odd man out. Espinsoa had value as a trade chip given the fact he slugged 24 home runs in 2016 along with knocking in 72 runs.  The Nationals have another option for utility infielder off the bench in Wilmer Difo, lessening the blow by moving Espinosa.  Espinosa will most likely become the full-time second baseman for the Angels given that the Angels were seeking help at second base since the start of the offseason.  

Other Storylines:

- The White Sox are placing as high a tag on southpaw Jose Quintana as they did for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.  When talking to the Houston Astros, the White Sox asked for top prospects Joe Musgrove, Francis Marte and Kyle Tucker per Peter Gammons.  The Astros clearly declined but it doesn’t seem like the White Sox will move off their stance of shooting for the moon on their players as they continue to deconstruct the roster and commit towards a full rebuild.

- The Boston Red Sox have an abundance of starting pitchers on their roster with lefty Chris Sale in the fold and are now fielding calls on some of their pitchers.  The Red Sox would most like to move righty Clay Bucholz but may find trouble doing that per Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Bucholz is owed a sum $13.5MM in 2017 and many teams may find that price too high.  The Red Sox may be better off trying to move southpaw Drew Pomeranz but appear to be refraining from doing so given they gave up a top pitching prospect to bring him over to Beantown in the middle of the season.

- After the latest scandal in their midseason trade with the Miami Marlins, rival clubs are now hesitant to approach San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller about potential deals per Cafardo.  Preller allegedly didn’t disclose medicals on righty Colin Rea, whom had some structural problems with his elbow and sent him to the Marlins.  The Marlins quickly realized Rea was not healthy and the Padres ended up taking him back as the Marlins believed they had been dealt damaged goods.  Having a reputation of not being trustworthy in trade discussions does not bode well for the Padres General Manager when dealing with clubs in the future.

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