David Stearns did it again.
Without any rumors providing warning, the Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly swung a massive deal, trading Zach Davies and Trent Grisham to the San Diego Padres for shortstop prospect Luis Urias and left-handed starting pitcher Eric Lauer.
*Zach* Davies, as @Ken_Rosenthal subsequently corrected.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 27, 2019
It's a significant move for the Brewers, who could play Urias at shortstop or third base depending on what they do with Orlando Arcia and Travis Shaw at Monday's tender deadline. https://t.co/38uvsxhgMM
This is, obviously, surprising for a lot of reasons.
For one, Grisham figured to be a part of the long-term outfield picture for the Brewers after breaking out as a prospect in 2019 and Ryan Braun’s career coming to a close. Davies has long been the most consistent starting pitcher the Brewers have had in their rotation.
But Urias is considered one of the best middle infield prospects in the game (and as Adam McCalvy noted, one of the best prospects in baseball, period), and could ultimately be the one to force Orlando Arcia into a reserve role. Lauer is a solid starting pitcher in his own right, putting up 2.3 fWAR for the Padres in 2019, with a 4.45 ERA/4.23 FIP in 30 games (29 starts), striking out 8.3 batters per 9 innings.
Davies was due a raise in salary arbitration, while Lauer won’t be arbitration-eligible until next season and has three options remaining. He’s under team control until 2025.
Urias exhausted his rookie eligibility in 2019, but still has less than a year of total service time and is not arbitration-eligible until after the 2023 season, and is under team control through 2026.
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.):
The trade is now official, and we’re hearing David Stearns’ comments on why the deal was made — and he was brutally honest in his assessment of how Orlando Arcia had been performing at shortstop:
Stearns said Urias' position with the Brewers is TBD, but they like him all over the infield, including 3B. The key, though, is that he gives the team another option at shortstop.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 27, 2019
Stearns on dealing Trent Grisham: pic.twitter.com/WNC4lBI0Xp— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 27, 2019
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs