Luis Urias is struggling mightily both offensively and defensively, and with no other real options available that would improve their ailing offense, the Brewers are taking a chance.
They’re reportedly trading from their bullpen depth to try to address one of their biggest weaknesses, sending Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen to Tampa Bay for infielder Willy Adames and right-handed pitcher Trevor Richards.
Right-hander Trevor Richards is going along with shortstop Willy Adames to the Brewers in exchange for relievers Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen, sources tell ESPN. That's the full trade.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 21, 2021
Adames has struggled with the bat this year — so has everyone — and was one of the players blocking the way for top prospect Wander Franco, so the Rays likely saw him as expendable despite a career wRC+ of 103 and nearly 6 fWAR in 332 games.
He has a lot of swing and miss in his game — his career K% is 29.7% — but he’s still only 25 years old and was worth nearly 3 fWAR in 2019, when he hit .254/.317/.418 with 20 home runs in 152 games. He was also worth +8 Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop that year, and he’s been a positive defender at short every year outside of his debut in 2018.
Basically, at the very least, he’ll be a better defender at shortstop than Urias, and unlike Urias, he actually has a history of hitting well in the majors, even if he’s off to a slow start this year.
Dealing Rasmussen and Feyereisen will be a blow to the Brewers’ bullpen depth, but they’re likely (rightfully) thinking it’s worth the risk in order to improve one of the NL’s worst offenses.
Adames has not yet hit arbitration and would be under Brewers control through 2025.