The Tampa Bay Rays have traded shortstop Willy Adames and RHP Trevor Richards to the Brewers for RHP J.P. Feyereisen and RHP Drew Rasmussen. The Rays have three shortstops in AAA that are all knocking on the door of the major leagues, including #1 overall prospect Wander Franco and #40 overall prospect Vidal Brujan, as well as Rays’ #7 prospect Taylor Walls. Of course, fans want to see Wander Franco make the jump, but it will be the 24-year-old Walls who gets the call, as he’s been raking in AAA, and is seen by scouts as the best option, for now.
Willy Adames Trade: Brewers
The Brewers have acquired their new starting shortstop in the Willy Adames trade, as they have had Orlando Arcia and Luis Urias man shortstop, and neither of which had been successful. In April, they traded Arcia to Atlanta to give control of the starting job to Urias, who they acquired alongside Eric Lauer for Trent Grisham and Zach Davies. In 2021, Urias is slashing .205/.317/.359 with a 87 wRC+, 0.1 BsR, -3 DRS, -1.8 UZR, and -7 OAA. For someone known for his glove, Urias has been unbelievably terrible in the field for Milwaukee, who will be happy to have the opportunity to find him more time at thirdrd base with Adames at short and Kolten Wong at 2nd.
The 25-year-old Adames had a great year in 2020, as he put up a 124 wRC+, 2.0 BsR, -4 OAA, and 1.5 WAR. This year, he’s not off to a good start. Through 41 games, he has a .273 wOBA, 78 wRC+, -3 OAA, and 0.2 WAR. He’s still young, and his home/road splits show that Tropicana Field might hurt him quite a bit. In his career, he has a .272 wOBA and 76 wRC+ at Tropicana, and a .364 wOBA and 130 wRC+ on the road. If his splits are due to ballpark factors, the Willy Adames trade could work out well for Milwaukee, despite Adames’ struggles defensively (-7 OAA since 2020).
The Brewers also acquired Trevor Richards in the trade, who is off to a great start (in just 12.0 IP) in 2021. So far, Richards has a 4.50 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 2.49 SIERA, 2.67 xFIP, and 27.7% K-BB%. He’s given up a HR/FB% of 20.0%, the cause for his inflated ERA, but he’ll be a solid bullpen arm to offset the losses of Feyereisen and Rasmussen.
Willy Adames Trade: Rays
The Rays were able to get back two solid relievers in the Willy Adames trade, which was made primarily to open up a roster spot for one of their young shortstops. In return, they were able to land J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen, who are both solid bullpen arms.
So far in 2021, Feyereisen has thrown 19.1 innings and has a 3.26 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 4.28 SIERA, 4.30 xFIP, and 26.0% K%. His only real issue is his walk rate, as he’s walked 14.3% of the batters he’s faced so far in 2021. Feyereisen has a fairly average fastball velocity of 93.5 MPH but his fastball spin rate is in the 97th percentile. He has a 42.1% whiff% on his slider, and 61.4% whiff% on his changeup. Overall, Feyereisen has a 32.1% CSW% (called strike% + whiff%).
Rasmussen, a 25-year-old flamethrower who was also acquired in the Willy Adames trade, is also off to a great start to his 2021 season. So far, he has a 4.24 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 32.5% K%, 3.81 SIERA, and 3.84 xFIP. He has an elite fastball with 95th percentile velocity, 90th percentile spin, and a -1 run value (negative is good). Similarly to Feyereisen, Rasmussen has a walk problem, as he’s walked 15.6% of the batters he’s faced so far in 2021. He also generates a ton of whiffs, as he has a 37.1% Whiff% on his slider, and 29.1% Whiff% on his 4-seamer, with a 32.2% CSW% and 32.5% K% overall.
The real reason the Rays made this trade was to open up the spot for Taylor Walls, who has a .468 OBP, .490 SLG, .433 wOBA, and 164 wRC+ in 62 AAA PAs in 2021. The 24-year-old will make plenty of starts at shortstop, with others including Joey Wendle also in the mix. Fans want to see Wander Franco in the big-leagues, but he’s not quite ready yet, which is completely fine. He’s only 20, and the Rays definitely don’t want to push it with the number one prospect in all of baseball. I’d also expect Vidal Brujan, who has a .650 SLG% and 183 wRC+ in AAA to get the call soon, but he’s a 2nd baseman, and the Rays already have Brandon Lowe.
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