Things are brewing for Willy Adames…
The slumping Milwaukee Brewers moved to shore up their infield defense by acquiring the 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball shortstop from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
Milwaukee also got pitcher Trevor Richards from the Rays for relievers J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.
Adames is hitting .197 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 41 games this year but had an .813 OPS last season while helping Tampa Bay reach the World Series. The 28-year-old Richards has a 4.50 ERA and one save in six relief appearances.
“We’re acquiring a shortstop who has proven he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said.
The trade surprised Adames, who already had arrived at TD Ballpark for the Rays’ game with the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida, when he learned about the move.
Adames said he’d “been crying the whole afternoon.”
“To get that news out of nowhere, it was tough,” Adames said. “It’s business. You’ve got to see every side of the situation and every view and just take the positive, and just bring the joy with everything we’ve done here. Just continue to have those memories and take it with me.”
The Rays plan to call up Taylor Walls and give him much of the playing time at shortstop, though Joey Wendle will play there on occasion. Tampa Bay also has top prospect Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan at Triple-A Durham.
“You’re talking about as good a defensive shortstop as you’re going to find,” Rays general manager Erik Neander said. “You’re talking about a switch-hitter that can put ball in the play, do a lot of things to help you win tight games.”
Adames said he figured he might get traded eventually because the Rays had Walls and Franco in the organization. He just didn’t think a deal would happen this soon.
“That’s what I was telling the guys,” Adames said. “I said, ‘It was so surprising because it’s too early.’ I was not even thinking this year, maybe next year. You kind of knew that’s how they work, that’s how the organization works. But to get this news so early, it was tough.”
The acquisition of Adames gives the Brewers some help at shortstop, which had been a growing concern. The Brewers began a weekend series at Cincinnati on Friday having lost 12 of their past 16 games to fall below .500.
Adames has a $590,000 salary in the major leagues, is eligible for arbitration next winter and can become a free agent after the 2024 season.