The Tampa Bay Rays have signed switch hitting infielder, Danny Espinosa. They have optioned Daniel Robertson to Triple-A Durham to clear a spot on the active roster.
Espinosa, 30, spent the first seven years of his career with the Washington Nationals and after his first couple seasons, seemed destined for great things (6.8 fWAR from 2011-2012). Unfortunately, he came down to earth as injuries hampered his performance (accrued just 0.1 fWAR from 2013-2014). The past two years (2015-2016), he looked like he was back on the right track as a solid contributing major leaguer.
Espinosa was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels this past off-season, but struggled mightily as he performed below replacement level over 77 games while he produced a wRC+ below 40. He was released in mid-July by the Angels and soon after picked up by the Mariners, with whom he spent the past month. It was more of same though for Espinosa and he was released by Seattle on the 20th of August.
Able to play multiple infield positions, Espinosa can hit from both sides of the plate. Although he isn’t as fearsome of a hitter as he has been in years past, he could find some of his former power with the Rays. So far in 2017, he has slashed .164/.237/.279 with 6 HR over 85 games. His 36.2 K% is the highest of his career while his 39 wRC+ is the lowest.
Daniel Robertson’s demotion should be brief as he’ll likely rejoin the club once rosters expand with the onset of September.