The Nationals finalized their Opening Day roster Monday evening, trading infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-hander Erik Davis and cash considerations.
The move solidifies Alex Cora as the team’s utility infielder.
Gonzalez was one of the Nationals’ best performers this spring, hitting .377 (20-for-53) with a .421 on-base percentage, and getting time at all four infield positions. He was, however, out of options and almost certainly wouldn’t have made it through waivers for a minor league assignment. In two-plus seasons with the Nationals, Gonzalez hit .266 in 236 games at the major league level.
In exchange, the Nationals add Davis, a 24-year-old out of Stanford who was 14-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 27 minor league starts spread across all levels of the Padres minor league system. He spent the majority of the 2010 season at Single-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio, going 4-0 at Double-A with a 2.75 ERA.
The Nationals 25-man roster is now set, giving them a veteran bench of Cora, Jerry Hairston Jr., Laynce Nix and Matt Stairs, along with catcher Wilson Ramos.