Pitchers and catchers report to AmFam Fields of Phoenix in Maryvale tomorrow, and the Milwaukee Brewers are apparently trying to reunite with a few old friends before Spring Training officially begins. The club reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with lefty Brett Anderson earlier this evening, and now rumors suggest that Travis Shaw will soon be back with Milwaukee, too.
Sources: Travis Shaw in serious talks with the Milwaukee Brewers.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 17, 2021
Shaw, of course, spent 2017-19 with the Cream City Nine after coming over in the Tyler Thornburg trade with Boston, mostly as the club’s everyday third baseman and cleanup hitter. He belted 63 home runs while posting a 120 OPS+ and 7.7 bWAR during his first two seasons with the club but his production unexpectedly cratered in 2019. Plate discipline issues and a swing change that didn’t work out led to a .157/.281/.270 slash line and multiple demotions to the minor leagues before he was non-tendered after the season. He latched on with Toronto for 2020 and hit .239/.306/.411 with 6 home runs (95 OPS+) during the pandemic-shortened campaign, but was ultimately non-tendered in December.
Shaw’s time in Milwaukee didn’t end on the best terms, but he has since indicated that there are no hard feelings between him and the organization. He has obviously thrived at Mill...er, American Family Field in the past, and as our own Jack Stern recently explored, there are reasons to believe that Shaw could legitimately be on his way to a bounce back. The Brewers don’t exactly have the most enticing internal options present at the hot corner after missing out on Justin Turner, with two post-hype players in Luis Urias and Daniel Robertson currently slated to compete for time at the position. Much of the speculation surrounding Shaw suggests that he’ll land with Milwaukee on a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, which would be about as low-risk and owner-friendly a deal as possible.
Shaw gets a minor league deal with a $1.5 mil base that could double with incentives. He has a March 15th opt-out but is looking forward to being back.
Travis Shaw’s minor-league deal with the Brewers will pay him $1.5 million with another $1.5 million in incentives if he makes the club, per source. He can opt out of the deal on March 15 if he’s not on the roster.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 17, 2021
More Travis Shaw: “I still feel like I have a lot of good baseball in me and I’m excited to go out and prove it and earn my way here.”— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 17, 2021
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference