|Alberto Gonzalez hit just .266/.302/.350 over 568 plate appearances in his two and a half seasons as a utility infielder for the Nationals, earning his keep with plus defensive value at shortstop as well as second and third base. Those days are over with Gonzalez’s trade to the Padres for 24-year-old minor league righthander Erik Davis.
Washington opted for the (much) more experienced Alex Cora as utilityman, leaving Gonzalez, who has no minor league options remaining, with no place to play. Rather than potentially lose Gonzalez for nothing on a waiver claim, the Nationals found an interested trade partner in the Padres. San Diego sought a middle-infield backup so that it could option 24-year-old Everth Cabrera to Triple-A for further seasoning. Cabrera batted .208/.279/.278 in a poor, injury plagued 2010 sophomore season.
|Erik Davis, rhp
Born: Oct. 8, 1986 in San Jose.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Selected by Padres in 13th round of 2008 draft; signed June 28, 2008.
Davis struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings in 2010 and tied with 11 other pitchers to rank third in the minors with 14 wins. He’s far from a power pitcher, however. The 6-foot-4 Davis’ success stems from a deceptive delivery that throws off the batter’s timing (he surrendered just five homers in 19 California League starts). Davis sits in the high 80s, throws strikes and mixes in below-average secondary stuff in the form of a slurvy breaking ball and a changeup.
|Alberto Gonzalez, 2b/ss
Age: 27. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: $600,000 salary in 2011, then arbitration-eligible for 2012-14 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.