The Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals have agreed to a trade that will send catcher Jose Lobaton to the Nats for right-hander Nate Karns. Two other players will head to Washington in the deal, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, most likely minor leaguers.
Lobaton is a fan favorite. Last year Lobaton, a switch-hitting catcher, hit .249/.320/.394 line with 15 doubles, two triples and seven home runs in 100 games and 311 plate appearances. Karns a 26-year-old, had a solid season at Double-A Harrisburg last season, posting a 3.26 ERA in 132 innings while striking out 155, and started 3 games for Washington.
He likely will serve as a back-up to Wilson Ramos. Lobaton became expendable after the Rayts traded for Ryan Hanigan and re-signed Jose Molina to a new two-year deal . The trade will be officially announced later today.