Postseason hero Escobar traded to Nats

KANSAS CITY — The Royals traded veteran infielder Alcides Escobar, who signed a Minor League contract in May and was playing at Triple-A Omaha this season, to the Nationals for cash considerations, the Royals announced Saturday.

Escobar will get a Major League opportunity with Washington, as his contract was selected shortly after he joined the organization. The shortstop hasn’t played in a Major League game since the end of the 2018 season, when he played 140 games for the Royals.

Escobar, 34, is a postseason hero for Kansas City. The 2015 American League Championship Series MVP, “Esky” was a major contributor to the Royals’ back-to-back American League pennants and World Series championship in ’15. He also won a Gold Glove and played in the All-Star Game that year. In 31 career postseason games with Kansas City, he slashed .311/.326/.467.

Escobar was an infield depth piece for the Royals after they lost shortstop Adalberto Mondesi to injury in the early part of the season. In 35 games with the Storm Chasers, Escobar hit .274 with seven doubles, five homers, 16 RBIs and two steals while splitting time across shortstop, second base and third base.

But with the emergence of Nicky Lopez as a solid offensive piece and an elite defender, the Royals feel comfortable with that part of the roster. It also opens an infield spot in Omaha if the Royals are ready to promote their top prospect, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., from Double-A Northwest Arkansas sometime this season, knowing that they want him to see time in Triple-A before the Majors.