The Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays announced a significant trade yesterday — can you remember a more impactful May trade in MLB? — with Willy Adames and Trevor Richards joining the Brewers while JP Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen head south to Florida. Today, Milwaukee officially added their new players to the roster, and made some corresponding moves to make room:
SS Willy Adames and RHP Trevor Richards added to the active roster.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 22, 2021
RHP Alec Bettinger recalled from Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/fCEx0E8BGR
OF/1B Billy McKinney designated for assignment.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) May 22, 2021
INF/OF Pablo Reyes optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
OF Derek Fisher sent to Triple-A Nashville on rehab assignment. pic.twitter.com/dE5MsdksGm
Adames was immediately crowned as Milwaukee’s starting shortstop when the move was consummated, and he made his first start at the six for the Brewers on Saturday against the Reds. Adames has struggled a bit this season, hitting .197/.254/.371 with five home runs in 142 plate appearances before the trade. He’s received heaps of praise for his defense at shortstop since the trade, however, and hit .262/.329/.426 (106 OPS+) with 38 home runs across 1,112 plate appearances from 2018-20.
Richards, 28, spent most of his first two seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins as a starter, but since being traded to Tampa Bay in mid-2019, he’s been more of a reliever/swingman. He’ll continue to pitch out of the bullpen for the Brewers; in six appearances with the Rays in 2021, Richards has worked 12.0 innings with a 4.50 ERA and 16:3 K/BB ratio.
Bettinger made his first big league appearance for the Brewers earlier this season and is their #23 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Bettinger has pitched in two games and allowed 12 runs in 7.0 innings, though 11 of those came during his disastrous debut on May 2nd.
Pablo Reyes appeared at second, third, and short and made several impressive plays after getting called up on April 26th. He didn’t contribute much with the bat, however, hitting .270 with two doubles and zero walks over 37 plate appearances for a .595 OPS.
Billy McKinney was one of the team’s top stories in April, filling in while Christian Yelich was injured and at times carrying the offense. But his production deteriorated as he continued in the lineup and was exposed more to National League pitching; by the time of his DFA, he was hitting .207/.260/.359 with three home runs over 100 plate appearances. The Brewers will now have a week to trade, waive/outright, or release McKinney.
Derek Fisher could soon be joining the team; he’s so far appeared in 9 games for the Triple-A Sounds on rehab, hitting .217/.333/.435 with a homer in 27 plate appearances.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference