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Rays trade Willy Adames to Brewers

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Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The Rays have traded starting shortstop Willy Adames to the Brewers.

Adames was acquired as the centerpiece of the David Price trade and has been the team’s premier infield defender for four seasons.

Trading Adames now pre-empts a very deep short stop market coming this offseason, while also making room for the Rays to transition to their next core of prospects in SS Taylor Walls, INF Wander Franco, and INF/OF Vidal Brujan. Among the three prospects, Franco is not yet on the 40-man roster, and Brujan’s defense is lacking a clear identity, making Walls the most likely candidate for promotion.

After the acquisition of yet another right handed hitting infielder in Wyatt Mathisen, a trade from the Rays depth was anticipated in the near future, but dealing the team’s top defender from the infield is a surprise.

The return for Adames is reportedly limited to two relievers: set up man J.P. Feyereisen, a 28-year old reliever acquired from the Yankees in Sept. 2019, and Drew Rasmussen, a Brewers 2018 draft pick from the sixth round that ascended to the majors quickly. Both have big fastballs and have performed well.

Feyereisen has some tasty attributes I’ll let @RaysMetrics summarize:

Rasmussen, meanwhile, was a Rays first round draft pick in 2017 that failed his physical. Two Tommy John surgeries later, he’s pumping 99 mph out of the bullpen after making the leap from Double-A in 2019 to the majors during the pandemic shortened season. A starter in the minors, he could follow the Glasnow path to starting again if the Rays so choose, even if that seems unlikely, given his injury history.

Adames will be packaged along side reliever Trevor Richards, who was acquired for a plus change that never materialized with the Rays.