ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have signed switch-hitting infielder Danny Espinosa and optioned infielder Daniel Robertson to Triple-A Durham.
Espinosa, 30, has spent eight seasons in the majors with the Washington Nationals (2010-16), Los Angeles Angels (2017) and Seattle Mariners (2017). He has spent time at all four infield positions plus left field, appearing in 594 games at second base, 218 at shortstop, 19 at third base, seven at first base and five in left field. In his career, Espinosa has collected 98 home runs, 64 stolen bases and has been hit by a pitch 77 times. He was hit by a pitch 73 times in a Nationals uniform, second in franchise history to Ron Hunt (114) of the Montreal Expos. He has made three trips to the postseason, in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
This season, he is batting .164 (40-for-244) with six home runs and 31 RBI in 85 games for the Angels and Mariners. He was designated for assignment by the Angels on July 16, released on July 20, signed with Seattle on July 24 and released on August 20. He has spent the most time at second base (65 starts), but has also started a game at first base, shortstop and third base.
In 2016, Espinosa served as the Nationals starting shortstop and ranked eighth in the majors with 8 Defensive Runs Saved as a shortstop. He established career highs with 24 home runs and 72 RBI, all coming as a shortstop. His 24 homers ranked fourth among major league shortstops and second among National League switch-hitters, behind Yasmani Grandal (27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Espinosa was selected by the Nationals in the third round of the 2008 June Draft out of Long Beach State University. He succeeded Troy Tulowitzki as the Dirtbags shortstop, played alongside Evan Longoria in 2006 and was also a teammate of Durham outfielder Shane Peterson.