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Rays sign veteran Espinosa to bolster infield

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- The Rays signed veteran infielder Danny Espinosa as they continue their quest in the American League Wild Card race. Espinosa started at second base and went 1-for-4 in Friday night's 7-3 win over the Cardinals.

In a corresponding move, Daniel Robertson was optioned to to Triple-A Durham.

ST. LOUIS -- The Rays signed veteran infielder Danny Espinosa as they continue their quest in the American League Wild Card race. Espinosa started at second base and went 1-for-4 in Friday night's 7-3 win over the Cardinals.

In a corresponding move, Daniel Robertson was optioned to to Triple-A Durham.

Espinosa, who was released by the Mariners on Sunday, also spent time with the Angels this season. Prior to that, Espinosa played with the Nationals for eight years. He entered Friday hitting .164/.237/.279 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 85 games, playing primarily at second base.

"I'm looking forward to being here. I'm happy that I'm here," Espinosa said. "The way the year has gone is not exactly how I wanted it, but at the same time, I'm coming here and they're in the playoff push. That's what I'm looking forward to, being able to come in and contribute however I'm asked to help make this push and make it to the playoffs."

Espinosa, 30, hit .209/.306/.378 with a career-high 24 home runs and 72 RBIs for the Nationals in 2016.

Espinosa will see playing time right away with second baseman Brad Miller recovering from being hit by a pitch in the second inning of Thursday's 2-0 win over the Blue Jays. Miller is day to day with a right shoulder contusion.

"Brad's still a little banged up from getting hit yesterday. We're excited to have [Espinosa]," manager Kevin Cash said. "I know he's had a rough season, but he's a veteran player. He's played on some playoff contending teams and he's a really good defensive player, versatility with the switch at-bat, and he's comfortable playing all over the field."

Espinosa has played all four infield positions and left field, but he has spent the majority of his games at second. The switch-hitter found out that he was joining the Rays on Thursday afternoon.

"I was excited for a lot of reasons. I know a lot of the guys on the team, a few of the guys I know really well, so I was pretty excited to come over," Espinosa said. "One hundred percent have way more in the tank. I think I've done more in my career to show there is a lot more there. ... I'm ready to go."

Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

Tampa Bay Rays, Danny Espinosa, Daniel Robertson