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Angels acquire Danny Espinosa from Nationals

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Whatever animosity Danny Espinosa harbored toward the Nationals on Saturday afternoon appears to have dissipated, as the club completed a trade that sent the infielder to the Angels for minor league right-handers Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin on Saturday evening.

The Nationals traded for outfielder Adam Eaton last Wednesday, a move which effectively booted Trea Turner from the outfield to the infield and eliminated Espinosa’s full-time responsibilities at short. Espinosa was understandably upset by the change, going so far as to skip the team’s annual Winterfest on Saturday in what appeared to be a protest of his diminishing role on the roster.

With the Angels, however, the 29-year-old is back to a full-time position as the club’s second baseman, supplanting the Cliff PenningtonJohnny Giavotella platoon they rolled with in 2016. While he doesn’t bring much to the plate — Espinosa slashed .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 2016, while the Angels’ second basemen combined for a .237/.275/.342 line with 12 homers — his defensive chops make him a clear upgrade.

The Nationals, meanwhile, gained some depth in their farm system with minor league right-hander Kyle McGowin, ranked 20th among the Angels’ 2016 prospects on MLBPipeline.com (per MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa). McGowin, 25, made the jump from Double-A Arkansas to Triple-A Salt Lake in 2016, putting up a cumulative 5.83 ERA and 8.2 K/9 in 142 innings. The club’s other acquisition, 25-year-old reliever Austin Adams, found an easier path through Double-A Arkansas, posting a 3.05 ERA and career-best 12.8 K/9 rate in just 44 1/3 innings.

Fans allowed at NLCS, World Series in Texas

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Fans can take themselves out to the ball game for the first time this season during the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That is about 28% of the 40,518-capacity, retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, which opened this year adjacent to old Globe Life Park, the team’s open-air home from 1994 through 2019.

The World Series is being played at a neutral site for the first time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played at one stadium for the first time since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Browns at Sportsman’s Park in 1944.

Some of the seats will be included in presales for Texas Rangers season ticket holders on Friday and subscribers on Monday, and others are set aside for MLB and players.

Tickets are priced at $40-250 for the NLCS and $75-450 for the World Series, and 10,550 seats in the regular sections of the ballpark and 950 in suites will be sold in “pods” of four contiguous seats.

Each pod will be distanced by at least 6 feet and a checkerboard pattern will be used, with alternating rows of seats in the middle or rows and at the ends. Unsold seats will be tied back.

No seats will be sold in the first six rows within 20 feet of the field, dugouts or bullpen. Fans will not be allowed to the lowest level, which is reserved for MLB’s tier one personnel, such as players and managers.

Masks are mandatory for fans except while they are eating or drinking at their ticketed seats. Concessions and parking will be cashless, and the team’s concessionaire, Delaware North, is planning wrapped items.

The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. The Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series all will be being played at neutral sites because of the coronavirus .pandemic.

MLB played the entire regular season without fans and also the first round of the playoffs with no fans. For the first time since spring training was interrupted on March 12, club employees and player families were allowed to attend games this week.

While Texas is allowing up to 50% capacity at venues, MLB did not anticipate having government permission for fans to attend postseason games at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles or Petco Park in San Diego, where AL playoff games are scheduled.

Globe Life Field has been the site of more than 50 graduations, but the Rangers played their home games in an empty ballpark.

The Rangers will recommend to MLB that the roof be kept open when possible, executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick said, but the team understands it will be closed in the event of rain. Matwick said MLB made the decision not to sell seats for the Division Series.

Other than 1944, the only times the World Series was held at one site came in 1921 and 1922, when the New York Giants and Yankees both played home games at the Polo Grounds. Yankee Stadium opened in 1923.