Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Does Anyone Know the Name Travis Shaw and Is He Available?

Photo Credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

So, it seems, there I go again with that, the idea that the San Francisco Giants just give up their proven second baseman Joe Panik for the Yankees Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier wasn’t exactly the most popular of posts I’ve done here on the blog. Whoops. It was so unpopular in fact that the Giants went out and threw dirt on the grave of the post immediately by acquiring Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Whoops again. I still stand behind the idea as I searched the Giants roster looking for scenarios that could send Ellsbury packing I have always been one to have a Plan B when it comes to getting greedy, even if it is less likely now that McCutchen is in San Francisco.  That quest has taken me to the National League Central Division and to a team that is on the cusp of competing, hello Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Brewers made things interesting for the Chicago Cubs all the way down to the final month of the 2017 regular season and while that made many fans and people within the organization happy most have to be ready to take the next step. While Milwaukee has been quiet on the free agent and trade market to date, and to be fair… who hasn’t been, that doesn’t mean that the team cannot swing a trade with a certain team from the Bronx to make both sides not only happy, but better as well.

As I stated in my Joe Panik article and as it has been stated all over Twitter and the Yankees blogosphere for a month now, the Yankees either need a second baseman or a third baseman according to many before the season starts. Personally, I would be okay with having Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes hold down second base for Gleyber Torres for 20 games while Miguel Andujar mans third base, but it seems like I am in the minority. With that in mind I have been scouring the potential trade market when I ran across a name that not a lot of people are talking about, Travis Shaw.

Travis Shaw is likely the least “greedy” move the Yankees can make as the Brewers third baseman is not a household name and doesn’t strike fear in every Boston Red Sox household (by the way, Shaw is a former Red Sox farmhand that was traded to Milwaukee in the Tyler Thornburg trade) across the land but that doesn’t mean Shaw wouldn’t be an incredible pickup for the Yankees on the cheap. In 2017 Shaw posted a 4.0 WAR while slashing .273/.349/.513/.862 with an OPS+ of 121. Shaw hit 31 home runs in 2017, the Bronx Bombers would officially be back adding that kind of pop to an already dangerous lineup, while also driving in 101 RBI with a much-needed for the Yankees left-handed swing.

Shaw would be under team control through the 2021 season with New York if acquired and just for the league minimum here in 2018 as Shaw is pre-arbitration eligible. So, what are the Brewers needs heading into the 2018 season? While I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Brewers it isn’t hard to tell that the team could use obviously a third base replacement (Miguel Andujar), second base (Tyler Wade) and starting pitching (not Jordan Montgomery, not Chance Adams and not Justus Sheffield).

The problem with this trade is that the Yankees would seemingly have to blow away the Brewers as Milwaukee has no reason to NEED to trade Shaw. The Brewers are ready to compete, and Shaw is a huge part of that meaning the Yankees may have to include Domingo Acevedo or even Chance Adams along with Andujar and Wade/comparable player in order to acquire Shaw. As much as I love Adams, that has been well-documented for years now here on the blog, I think I pull that trigger on that deal without hesitation. I know many are high on Andujar, and frankly I am too, but this isn’t trading away potential for a season or two of a player’s prime. This is youth for youth and the unknown for more of a “sure thing.” The problem for New York, in terms of prospects anyway, is that you have to pay for that. Paying for that makes the Yankees not only better in 2017, but it makes them better in the future as well with a long-term option at third base.

Convincing Milwaukee to make a move for Shaw is going to be a tough one but if the Yankees can fill two or three needs for the Brewers including their replacement for Shaw then Milwaukee may be interested. If not, it doesn’t hurt to do your due diligence anyway and ask. The worst that they can tell you is no, right?

Get greedy, get Shaw. That makes a monster lineup all the scarier for the foreseeable future.