Nationals acquire Yunel Escobar from the Athletics


Update #2 (7:48 PM EST): Ladson reports that Clippard is indeed involved in the trade, as Heyman suggested.

Update (7:35 PM EST):’s William Ladson confirms the deal.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Nationals have acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Athletics. It’s not yet known what the Athletics will receive in return. Just a few minutes prior, Heyman had suggested that a swap of Escobar and reliever Tyler Clippard would make sense for both clubs.

On Saturday, the Athletics acquired Escobar along with Ben Zobrist for John Jaso, cash, and minor leaguers Boog Powell and Daniel Robertson.

Escobar, 32, hit .258/.324/.340 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in 529 plate appearances for the Rays last season. He signed a two-year, $13 million contract extension with the Rays in April, which also included a $7 million club option for 2017 with a $1 million buyout.

Unless the Nationals trade shortstop Ian Desmond, Escobar slots in as the Nationals’ second baseman, forcing Danny Espinosa back to the bench. On the other side, the departure of Escobar opens up a full-time job for Marcus Semien at shortstop.

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto working on a long term deal

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies “are quietly trying to hammer out” a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto. He says it may take some time to be done — nothing is imminent — but that the sides are working on it.

Realmuto still has one final year of arbitration, and he’s likely to get $10 million or more for 2020 if nothing is done. It sounds as though he and the Phillies are both eager to cement a long term pact, however, that’ll keep him from hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury says the deal, once reached, could be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season. He says an extension would likely not kick in until 2021. He and the club would agree to a separate one-year deal to cover 2020.

Realmuto, who is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment, will turn 29 before the beginning of the 2020 season. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.