The Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians swapped middle infielders Thursday, with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and Zach Walters changing places.

Cabrera, 29, is in the final year of a three-year, $21.05 million contract. He can play any infield position, creating flexibility for Nationals manager Matt Williams. Cabrera's defensive ability is needed with former All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list with a hamstring tear. Cabrera can play second base with Anthony Rendon sliding over to third.

Walters, 24, is batting just .205 in 43 plate appearances with the Nationals this season. The Nationals acquired him in 2011 in a deadline deal that brought right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis.

Walters has some power potential, but consistentcy prevented him from finding a niche with the Nationals. It might also be a hurdle in Cleveland, where top prospect Francisco Lindor is almost ready for an everyday trial with the Indians.