The Red Sox have claimed Travis Shaw off waivers from the Brewers, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe. Shaw was placed on waivers by the Brewers yesterday. Rob Bradford of WEEI notes that the Red Sox plan to have Shaw with the team by Tuesday’s game. A spot on the 40-man roster was opened earlier in the day when Josh Taylor was placed on the COVID IL.
This will be a homecoming for Shaw, returning to the organization that drafted him and gave him his first MLB experience. In 2015 and 2016, he played 210 games for the Red Sox, slashing .251/.312/.442, producing a wRC+ of 97. In December 2016, the Sox traded Shaw to Milwaukee, along with Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington, for Tyler Thornburg.
Shaw was excellent in his first two season for Milwaukee, slashing .258/.347/.497 for a wRC+ of 120 over that span. Unfortunately, it’s been up-and-down since then. 2019 was a disastrous campaign, producing a meager .157/.281/.270 line, wRC+ of 48, leading to Shaw being non-tendered that offseason. The Blue Jays gave him a shot and saw him rebound slightly to a line of .239/.306/.411, wRC+ of 92. Unfortunately, after re-signing with the Brewers, his numbers tailed off again. His 2021 production so far has been .191/.279/.337, a wRC+ of 68.
Shaw will now presumably be a candidate for some time at first base for Boston. There had been plans to get Kyle Schwarber some work at first, but he has been at designated hitter in both his games since being activated off the IL, with J.D. Martinez taking some time in the outfield. Bobby Dalbec has been the primary first baseman for Boston this year. Although he has struggled at times this year, he has been red hot lately, slashing .286/.357/.571 over the past month.