The Milwaukee Brewers have made a major move at the shortstop position after early struggles from Luis Urias.
In a shocking trade, the Brewers have acquired shortstop Willy Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for relievers J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.
While Urias had been in a bit of a slump, another acquisition of a shortstop is a bold and decisive move by President of Baseball Operations David Stearns.
Adames, 25, has been the starting shortstop for the Rays for a few years now, with some mild success. He hit 20 home runs in 2019, his best season.
The Brewers are also reportedly receiving reliever Trevor Richards in the deal.
This season, Adames is hitting just .197/.254/.371 with a .625 OPS while Richards has a 4.50 ERA in 12 IP.
Meanwhile, Drew Rasmussen had a 4.24 ERA in 17 IP and Feyereisen had been one of the key bullpen arms this year, with a 3.26 ERA in 19.1 IP. Feyereisen was also the Brewers leader in pitching appearances and his ERA has been inflated by one or two poor outings recently.
Why did the Brewers make this trade?
They want to provide a spark to the offense and they apparently are willing to move Luis Urias off his shortstop position to get it done. It might be a little early to give up on Urias after just five weeks on the job, but if their internal evaluations feel he can’t handle it, then they need to make a move.
Adames has proven to be a capable starting shortstop in the big leagues, both defensively and offensively, although his offensive numbers are down this year. Adames has been striking out at a high 35.9% clip this year and has an unusually low BABIP as well.
Luis Urias has been in a bit of a slump and the overall numbers for the 23 year old sit at just a .205/.317/.359 slash line.
While Urias is still with the team, it’s clear his role is going to diminish while the Brewers lose two of their most important bullpen arms. Feyereisen and Rasmussen are both young and under long term team control, and losing them is going to hurt.
The Rays drafted Rasmussen in the first round in 2017 but he didn’t sign after he got hurt, and now he goes back to Tampa. They’ll be able to maximize his potential.
Now the Brewers bullpen gets thinner, and the offense might get a boost, but Adames, who has four more years of team control, hasn’t been a fantastic offensive player in his career either. He has some more power, but this is a bold move by David Stearns.
The Brewers traded Orlando Arcia for two relievers, who haven’t been impactful, just a few weeks ago, and now they trade two relievers of their own to get another young shortstop.