Nov 18, 2013, 1:56 PM EST
Age on Opening Day 2014: 26
How acquired: Draft (3rd round), June 2008
MLB service time: 2 years, 113 days
2013 salary+bonuses: $526,250
Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2014, free agent in 2017
2013 Stats: 44 G, 167 PA, 158 AB, 11 R, 25 H, 9 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, SB, 4 BB, 47 SO, .158 BA, .465 OPS, 27 OPS+, -0.6 WAR
2013 analysis: Danny Espinosa’s year got off on the wrong foot before it even began. We first saw Danny in the offseason at NatsFest in January, when he revealed a tear was discovered in the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. And instead of undergoing surgery – a procedure that would have sidelined him for about a month of the regular season – he opted to play through it and hope for the best. The result, whether it was directly tied to his injury or not, was a disaster as Espinosa barely hit about .150 and earned a demotion to Triple-A.
Espinosa also dealt with a broken right wrist, which certainly didn’t help matters. All in all, 2013 was a tough year for the 26-year-old. He wasn’t good at Syracuse in the 75 games he played there and now has questions about his major league future. Would Espinosa’s year have been different if he had the surgery? We’ll never know. It doesn’t look like the Nats plan to have it fixed this offseason, either.
2014 outlook: Espinosa doesn’t fit in the Nationals plans moving forward, that much is obvious despite Mike Rizzo and former manager Davey Johnson’s public comments about him. The Nationals’ ideal solution for Espinosa would be to trade him, hoping a team banks on his two seasons of 17-plus homers and stolen bases. The problem, however, is finding a suitor.
If Espinosa played well in the minors, maybe he would have some value. But now it’s almost pointless to trade him considering the return likely wouldn’t be much at all. Espinosa is a good locker room guy, he works and plays hard, and he’s proven his potential at second base. There’s really no urgency to move him. The Nats will probably start him back at Syracuse and hope he opens the season playing well. Then they will have more options to either trade him or bring him back up to Washington to contribute like he did in 2011 and 2012.
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