Brewers #1 Best Move Of 2021: The Willy Adames Trade
This should come as no surprise to anyone who watched a single moment of Brewers baseball this season, but the Willy Adames trade was the best move the Brewers made in 2021.
At 22-23, the Brewers were treading water and the offense was lackluster, needing a spark. Luis Urias, who had been handed the full time starting shortstop job just six weeks ago, was dealing with mental struggles defensively. He kept making throwing errors on routine plays and just couldn’t seem to get right.
David Stearns could’ve given Urias some more runway and waited to address shortstop until closer to July, when trade talks typically heat up. But the perfect sequence of events lined up for the Brewers to acquire Willy Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Firstly, Urias was struggling both offensively and defensively and the Brewers needed to inject some life into the ballclub. After Orlando Arcia departed, the team was lacking a fun, lively presence in the clubhouse. They weren’t having much fun. That’s something that Willy Adames can remedy very quickly.
Adames was having a tough start to the season in Tampa, however, and the top prospect in all of baseball, Wander Franco, was breathing down Adames’ neck from Triple-A. It was only a matter of time until he was called up, but Adames was too good to just bench. Tampa, meanwhile, needed some pitching help.
Adames immediately brought life to this Brewers team and its offense. The shortstop position was improved dramatically and Adames took a team that was just treading water to now swimming like Michael Phelps in the 200M Butterfly.
He slugged 20 homers for the Crew, posted a 135 OPS+ and hit .285 in a Brewers uniform. He received NL MVP votes as a midseason addition and that takes some doing. Oh, and he’s under team control for the next three seasons.
The Brewers likely don’t win the division without Adames. They probably don’t even make the playoffs without him. Trading for him was the single best move the Brewers made in 2021.
It was another great season for the Brewers in 2021, and they couldn’t have done it without all five of these moves this year.