11:25 am: The Brewers have announced the move. Mark Mathias has been placed on the 60-day injured list because of a torn labrum in his shoulder.
8:28 am: As expected today, Travis Shaw informed the Brewers of his plans to execute an opt-out clause in his contract if the Brewers did not guarantee his contract for the 2021 season. The Brewers complied, guaranteeing Shaw $1.5MM in 2021 with an additional $1.5MM in incentives still on the table, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). The Brewers 40-man roster is currently full, so they will need to make a corresponding move before officially adding Shaw to the payroll.
Shaw will likely open the season as the Brewers starting third baseman, though it’s reasonable to expect he’ll be rested against southpaws. With right-handers Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia competing at shortstop, plus another right-hander in Daniel Robertson as a potential bench bat, there are more than enough options to take the small side of a straight platoon. For his career, Shaw is a 110 wRC+ hitter against right-handers and a 79 wRC+ hitter against lefties. If Shaw is able to produce at that rate against right-handed pitchers in 2021, he’ll more than cover the cost of his salary.
Of course, averages don’t tell nearly the whole picture in Shaw’s case. His best seasons in the Majors came in Milwaukee as he posted a 3.5 fWAR campaign in 2017 and backed it up with a 3.7 fWAR season in 2018. His worst year came immediately after, however, as Shaw and the Brewers saw his production tumble to a shocking .157/.281/.270 line across 270 plate appearances worth -0.8 fWAR. He found more of a middle ground in his one season with the Blue Jays, slashing .239/.306/.411 over 180 plate appearances with a 8.9 percent walk rate and 27.8 percent strikeout rate. That’s a slightly below-average walk rate and slightly above-average strikeout rate, but he did, at least, cut down his strikeouts after striking out 33.0 percent of the time during his disastrous 2019 campaign.
THE MAYOR OF DING DONG CITY IS BACK
I came down here to complain about how bad he is, but you changed my mood so thank you!
I understand where the negative comments come from but as a Brewers fan, I like him and expect him to bounce back even if it’s just a little bit. He is a big-time fan favorite here, hoping he comes back strong!
Year 3 of the bounce back plan.
Stranger things have happened, amigo.
We have already seen the best of Travis Shaw. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him DFA’d by June.
Yes. Thinking Shaw is a major league player is strange. Brewers didn’t take the hint.
95 OPS+ last season. it’s not like that’s horrible.
Who hurt you?
Honestly, I loved this guy in Boston. Very streaky but when on he was good and he’s scrappy. Gotta love scrappy players.
That right there is the perfect comment!
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Travis still has a chance to beat his dad Jeff Shaw on career WAR. Travis 9.6 vs Jeff 13.7. Can he do it?
Well, he was over 10 two years ago, so the trend is not his friend.
You stole my comment!
Bill Di Blasio?
It’s like a couple that you know is wrong for each other but they just can’t stay broken up.
Terrible for past 2+ years, bad spring numbers, so perfect fit on the roster. Makes sense.
It’s $1.5mil, good grief, it’s not like he’s 1/3 of the payroll. Also, he may cost them $3mil if he has a solid year. The comment below says he’ll be DFAed before May. If so, the hit will be $1.5mil, it’s hardly a Pablo Sandoval / Hanley Ramirez kind of hit…
It’s $1.5 for a AAA player.
He’s been decent to slightly below average this spring. I think it he is a solid bench piece that you hope gets his swing back
Shaw’s OPS last year was better than Keston Hiura. And Shaw’s defense was better. Should they release Hiura?
Still better than Braun
It’s just an example of Stearns’ love affair with cheap players. Think Sogard, Gyorko, Anderson and Smoak who didn’t even last the season. Before the 2020 season he got rid of an incredible 22 players who played during the season. How does that help team chemistry and fan commitment. Plus he always has this smug look on his face like he’s always the smartest man in the room. Well getting rid of Grisham and Davies for one bad pitcher, one mediocre pitcher and a young unproven infielder who may or may not pan out was probably the worst trade he’s made so far. Not impressed.
Some trades are good, and some are bad. Hindsight has always been 20/20. It’s what some people specialize in.
Jedd Gyorko is not a good example if you are trying to show bad moves. That was in fact a good result for the Brewers. He played well.
Completely agree. Stearns is biased and grossly overrated. Trading Grisham and signing Garcia was another typical DS move thinking he’s the smartest man in baseball. He’s been looking for any excuse to get rid of Arcia for at least 2-3 years now. By bringing in an assembly line of Sogard, Robertson, Mathias, Shaw. Holt, etc. type players every season. This is why Sogard, Shaw to name a couple keep receiving numerous opportunites whereas other players are on a shorter leash.
As a Brewer fan, I’m looking forward to the end of the overrated Stearns/Counsell reign in MKE.
April 25th, 2021:
Brewers designate Travis Shaw
Gotta wonder how strict the platoon will be, I personally hope we see the Urias/Arcia SS/3B combo against righties a couple times. Imo, Arcia should be a good defensive 3B with his great arm and range but slow foot speed.
Third baseman should be able to produce more than what Arcia can give them. Brewers really need Shaw to bounce back, even if it is now only as a platoon.
It looks like Shaw was actually pretty decent against LHP in 2020, so that’s another wrinkle even if the sample size was small.
.683 lifetime OPS. He can’t hit lefties. It’s why the Red Sox considered him a part-time player and why they ultimately traded him to MKE.
Hopefully there is some platoon with him, Urias and Robertson, until one of them starts hitting and claims the position.
slow foot speed??? dude gets to every ball at ss and makes it look easy. speed from home to first =/= equal range at ss. he’s still an elite defender
“Slow foot speed”?? Are you watching Arcia in slow motion? Slow, he is not! Especially in contrast to Shaw and the numerous other base to base cloggers (Gyrko, Healy, Smoak, Morrison, etc.) Stearns/Counsell bring in each year.
Same lifetime OPS+ as DJLM who apparently is a god, and he’s played 3 infield positions plus outfield, and he’s hit 30+ home runs in two seasons. Cost of $1.5 million. So complain? Oh brother.
Yeah it’s really hilarious how people will bash these zero-risk moves, especially in this case when it seems like the town loves the player.
It’s because they think spending equals guaranteeing you get a much better player. The brewers could have spent 10 mil more, 15 mil more or 20 mil more and still not got a better player when it’s all said and done.
Franco just signed in Baltimore for $800k. Franco > Shaw.
Not sure I agree with that. Shaw also has upside in that he plays several positions.
Last year, when the Crew tried to bring him back on a “prove it” deal after one of the most historic personal collapses in MLB history, he and his agent said they weren’t interested b/c Shaw needed a “change of scenery”.
Now, after another bad year in TOR and being non-tendered, Milwaukee is suddenly ok for his fragile psyche b/c why? No one else was offering him a contract?
Because they needed a 3B and he was cheap and has a history of production at Miller Park (I refuse to call it the current name). Is it really that hard to comprehend?
Yikes. Didn’t realize Miller Park was rebranded with such a froot loop name. That’s the real “travis”ty.
You didn’t understand the point. It was Shaw who said Miller Park was too scary for him last year, not the Crew. What changed? The number of teams willing to pay him to play baseball (read: one).
Is it really that hard to comprehend?
Don’t go by the actual new name, call it the AmFam Slam Clam. Here’s hoping the mayor slams clams.
If your former employer, that maybe you didn’t end on the greatest terms with, was the only one offering you a decent salary/ wage in an industry you enjoy, you wouldn’t go back?
As far as his fragile psyche, his baby had serious health issues when he started struggling. I’d want to get away from the city where all that took place too, at least for a while, wouldn’t you? I bet not, as I’m sure you’ve endured the worst tragedies anyone could imagine, and never flinched.
You’re wrong. The issues with his kid were PRIOR to his struggles, in 2017. He actually had his BEST SEASON during his kids surgeries.. You’re conflating two different seasons. So do your homework before playing amateur psychologist, or just stick to the Packers.
Don’t recall claiming any psychological related background, but I appreciate the correction on the timing mistake.
You didn’t answer my question though. Would you refuse to go back to a previous employer…?
Your indignant self-righteous post led me to believe you an arm chair therapist.
Funny you could reach that conclusion based on 2 comments.
Still no answer to my question? Or was it too complicated for you and you need more time?
To be fair, Buffalo New York was not supposed to be that change of scenery
Costa Rican Surfer
If 3B is a platoon then Shaw would get the great majority of at-bats as LH Starters seem to be near an all-time low right now throughout MLB, with the exception of a few teams like Seattle/Oakland. Most teams don’t have any more than 1 & several teams have none. Shaw will need to come up big for Brewers.
I’m assuming the infield now looks like Hiura, Arcia, Urias, Shaw and Robertson. 2 catchers (Narvaez and Pina if healthy), four outfielders (Yelich, Garcia, JBJ and Cain…again, if ready by opening day). Five-six starters, nine in the bullpen (including a couple who can also start). That may sound heavy on pitching.and I may have missed a position player…26 man roster.
You forgot Wong.
You’re right, my bad.
Cool, he still can’t hit a baseball, so this should go swimmingly.
At this point in his career Travis Shaw is a good place holder. He still can field a bit. One must ask if Travis Shaw is on a team are they a serious contender?
nobody has considered them a playoff threat in amy of the previous 3 seasons, and they made the playoffs in all of them.
Took the Dodgers (WS runner up) to the brink in ’18, lost to the Nats (eventual champs) on a bad outing by Hader plus a horrible fielding gaffe by Grisham in ’19, and lost to the Champs last year.
They don’t care if anyone thinks they’re a serious contender.
He was awful last year and the year prior, but its only $1.5M so I guess there isnt much risk.
Look again, he wasn’t awful in 2020. 95 OPS+ isn’t good, but it’s not terrible.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Would like to see this guy get his stroke back. He hasn’t hit well this spring, but he’s showed some patience walking 6 times, s.o. only 4 times.
Outstanding defensive player who hit well before he got paid the big bucks. Now after struggling he’s a bum. Milwaukee picked him back up for a reason. A winner who will help this team contend again.
I was looking forward to this season. I thought Wong & JBJ might be signs that Stearns/Counsell had woken up to the fact that the Brewers also needed more players who can run and good defensively. Instead of the usual signings of slow afoot rural northwoods type softball sluggers.
Anyone paying attention to how awful Shaw has been so far? 😉