The Brewers have struggled to find Jesus Aguilar enough at-bats to recapture the magic of his 2018 season. With Eric Thames playing well and Travis Shaw back in the fold, it appears the big man without any minor league options remaining ran out of chances to get things going in Milwaukee.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the Brewers are trading Aguilar to the pitching-rich Tampa Bay Rays, who were in search of a big bat for their AL wildcard run.
First baseman Jesus Aguilar has been traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Tampa Bay Rays, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
Passan says the Brewers will be getting right-handed pitcher Jacob Faria in return.
Right-hander Jacob Faria is headed back to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Jesus Aguilar deal, a source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
The Rays have been as busy as any team, shopping players in anticipation of a 40-man roster crunch, and the Brewers get Jake Faria, whose stuff has ticked up with a move to the bullpen. After a strong rookie year, Faria regressed in 2018. Could be a future rotation candidate.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
Faria just turned 26 years old yesterday. He’s both started and pitched out of the bullpen in parts of the past few years after debuting in 2017. He has good strikeout stuff, but has run into issues with control, as seen in his limited cups of coffee this year with 7 walks in 10 innings.
He also had a 3.9 BB/9 in Triple-A Durham this year, but also carried an impressive 11.2 K/9. He had a very good run as a starter during his rookie year in 2017, putting up a 3.43 ERA in 16 games (14 starts), with 84 strikeouts and 31 walks in 86.2 innings, good for a 123 ERA+.
Faria is still pre-arbitration eligible and the Brewers will hold his rights through 2023. With his success in the bullpen, he has the potential to help solidify the relief corps this year, while still carrying the potential to start for the Brewers for years to come.
Considering how badly Aguilar had struggled this year, the general low market for 1B/DH types, and the fact that he’s out of options, this is about as interesting of a return we could’ve expected in return for Aguilar.