With the Tampa Bay Rays loaded up on middle infielders, including Wander Franco on the way, it was apparently time to unload a productive guy who was approaching arbitration.
And the Milwaukee Brewers are the benefactor:
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, 25, has had a brutal start to the 2021 season, and his increasing strikeout rates were no doubt a concern for the Rays (never trade with the Rays, by the way). But he’s got a good glove, a line drive stroke, and has been pretty productive in his young career:
The Brewers have long been looking for a shortstop, with Orlando Arcia not producing against any team not named the Cubs, and Luis Urias not yet establishing himself. So Adames will step right in and probably be a considerable upgrade to the overall mix (whether he initially plays shortstop or third base, with Travis Shaw moving across the diamond).
Richards, 28, is an up-and-down guy who is only recently converted to the bullpen. Not quite sure what he’s gonna be for the Brewers yet beyond a replacement relief arm.
As for what the Brewers are giving up, Rasmussen and Feyereisen are both cost-controlled relievers who’ve had a fair bit of success already, and it isn’t painless for the Brewers to give them up. But getting a pre-arb shortstop who might settle in as a quality starter for a few years there? I can see why the Brewers jumped when the Rays were looking to open up a spot for Franco (probably).