The 2021 Milwaukee Brewers were a good team, one good enough to take home the NL Central title last season. And to be a good team, it means making smart moves to acquire the types of players to help win games.
Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns made plenty of good deals to assemble last year’s squad. From the trade for MVP vote-getter Willy Adames to the move that brought in Rowdy Tellez, Stearns did what needed to be done in the front office.
But even good teams make their share of moves that don’t end up working out in the end. They usually ended up making plenty of sense at the time, but ultimately didn’t end up benefiting the team for any number of possible reasons.
Here are five moves from the 2021 season that didn’t quite work out as planned for the Brewers.
Brewers #5 Move That Didn’t Work Out in 2021: Signing Free Agent Travis Shaw
Coming off of a 2020 season that was one of the poorest offensive ones in franchise history, Milwaukee had some holes that needed to be filled on the diamond that following offseason. One of the more glaring ones was at third base.
With no obvious internal candidates to take over the position (at least not at the time), it made sense for the Brewers to external for their 2021 third baseman. There were seemingly plenty of available candidates on the free agent market to choose from as well.
They settled on a reunion with an old friend in signing free agent Travis Shaw. As fans were aware, Shaw was one of the better offensive performers on the team in 2017 and 2018 before his production dropped dramatically in 2019, ultimately leading to his exit from the team after the season.
Shaw looked a bit more like himself while playing for the Blue Jays in 2020, his only season in Toronto. So, was it possible that Shaw could ride that momentum and parlay it into a big season with Milwaukee in 2021?
Unfortunately, a comeback that big wasn’t in the cards. Shaw ended up playing in 56 games for the Crew, hitting six homers and batting .191 with a .616 OPS and his season was shortened by a dislocated shoulder that ended up knocking him out for well over a month. He would end up being designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Red Sox in August.