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Washington Nationals acquire former Kentucky star reliever Trevor Gott

Los Angeles Angels bench greets Trevor Gott, center, after he pitched during a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, June 14, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif.
Los Angeles Angels bench greets Trevor Gott, center, after he pitched during a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, June 14, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. Orange County Register/The Associated Press

Former University of Kentucky and Tates Creek High School star reliever Trevor Gott is coming back to the National League.

The Washington Nationals traded for the 23-year-old reliever on Thursday, sending infielder Yunel Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Gott and a minor league prospect.

Gott, who started out in the San Diego Padres’ organization, was 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA for the Angels this past season as a rookie. He gave up 43 hits in 47.2 innings pitched. He struck out 27 and walked 16.

The 33-year-old Escobar was coming off a 2015 season in which he hit .314 with nine homers.

Here’s what the Washington Post had to say about the trade:

“The Nationals used Escobar’s strong season and affordable contract — he is owed $14 million over the next two seasons — to acquire a reliever for a bullpen that needed help,” wrote James Wagner. “Gott, 23, reached the majors for the first time in 2015 and posted a 3.02 ERA in 48 games. He struck out 27 and walked 16 in 47 2/3 innings. His fastball averaged 96.2 mph last season. The trade was first reported by CBS Sports.”

After a stellar prep career at Tates Creek, Gott was Kentucky’s career saves leader with 23. He was taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft by San Diego after his junior season at UK,

Gott was traded to the Angels last July. In 2014, his first full season in professional baseball, Gott earned 18 saves in 52 appearances. After eight saves in 18 games with Double-A Arkansas this year, Gott was promoted to Salt Lake, where he did not allow a run in 8 1⁄3 innings before being summoned to Los Angeles, where he made his MLB debut.

Gott had a 1.65 ERA on August 25 before giving up six earned runs in three innings over a four-game stretch. He finished the season strong, giving up just one earned run in his last eight appearances.

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