Tampa Bay Rays Sign Danny Espinosa, Option Daniel Robertson

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 7: Danny Espinosa (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 7: Danny Espinosa (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Adding depth to the infield, the Tampa Bay Rays have signed veteran infielder Danny Espinosa and have optioned Daniel Robertson to Durham.

The Tampa Bay Rays continue to makeover the roster and at the same time bolster their defense. They have done so earlier today signing veteran switch-hitting infielder Danny Espinosa. In a corresponding move, the Rays have optioned Daniel Robertson to Triple-A Durham.

The first seven years of his MLB career was with the Washington Nationals before an off-season trade this past December to the Los Angeles Angels. In obtaining the switch-hitter, the Rays get an exceptional defender in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and Ultimate Zone Rating as a shortstop and second baseman according to FanGraphs during his seven years with the Nationals.

However, the changeover to the American League stunted his offensive production to the worst numbers of his career and after batting .162/.237/.276 in 77 games with six home runs and 29 RBIs for the Angels, they had seen enough and released him in July.

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Signed by the Mariners at the end of July, Espinosa’s struggles continued and after eight games batting .188/.235/.313 with no home runs and two RBIs, his time in Seattle ended as they placed him on released waivers Aug. 16.

Overall in 85 games between the Angels and Mariners, Espinosa’s line stands at .164/.237/.279 with six home runs and 31 RBIs with 98 strikeouts, 20 walks in 244 at-bats.

Despite having a slash line of .209/.306/.378 with Washington last year, his 24 home runs and 72 RBIs were career highs and his 174 strikeouts were the most since his 189 in 2012. In seven seasons with the Nationals, Espinosa slashed .226/.302/.388 with 92 home runs and 283 RBIs.

After sustaining a shoulder contusion in Thursday’s game against Toronto, Brad Miller is day-to-day and adding Espinosa gives the Rays a bit more stability up the middle. It also provides them with a switch-hitter that has some pop.

At the same time, the pressure is off Robertson, specifically during this very crucial road trip. He has done an admirable job filling in when needed and will take his .211 average, five home runs and 18 RBIs to Durham where he will most likely see action on a consistent basis through the remainder of the Bulls regular season and playoffs.

Next: Kevin Kiermaier Key Part of Tampa Bay Rays Victory

On a side note, infielder Trevor Plouffe has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Durham. Pitcher Matt Andriese will have his final rehab start on Monday and if all goes well, he could be activated off the DL next weekend.