The Nationals have traded Ronnie Belliard to the Dodgers, receiving a Class A pitcher and a player-to-be-named in exchange for the veteran second baseman.
Though he struggled throughout the season’s first half, Belliard turned hot over the last month, hitting .377 over his last 24 games to make himself an attractive option for contenders. The Dodgers, who had some interest in Belliard last summer, finally pulled the trigger today.
This move (and the likelihood it was going to happen) should better explain now why the Nats promoted Pete Orr from Class AAA on Friday and not an outfielder like Justin Maxwell. Obviously, they knew they might need another second baseman in the fold in case the Belliard deal went down.
In exchange for Belliard, the Nats receive Class A right-hander Luis Garcia, who in 34 appearances with the Dodgers’ Great Lakes affiliate went 5-3 with five saves and a 2.92 ERA. They’ll also receive a second player, who will be named at a later date.
UPDATE AT 5:58 P.M.: The Nats will recall outfielder Justin Maxwell from Class AAA Syracuse to take Belliard’s roster spot. I would expect Maxwell to get some significant playing time in center field the rest of the season.