The Rays on Friday made a move that opened a hole at shortstop in Tampa Bay, trading Willy Adames to the Brewers in a four-player deal.
For now, that hole will be filled by Taylor Walls, an excellent defender at shortstop who currently ranks as the Rays’ No. 14 prospect.
Walls was on the team’s 40-man roster, too, which made him easier to call up without requiring an additional transaction.
Adames, still just 25 years old, has scuffled at the plate this season and had multiple top prospects barking at his heels in Triple-A. Walls, who is already on the team’s 40-man roster, will likely get the first crack at the spot.
The Rays also sent reliever Trevor Richards to Milwaukee with Adames.
In return, the Rays get a pair of power-armed relievers in J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen, the latter of whom was drafted by Tampa Bay out of Oregon State in 2017 despite coming off of Tommy John surgery.
J.P. Feyereisen, RHP
Feyereisen, who was drafted by Cleveland in the 16th round of the 2014 draft, has now been traded thrice. He was sent from Cleveland to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal in 2016, then shipped to Milwaukee in a small deal that brought international slot money back to New York, along with shortstop Brenny Escanio.
Feyereisen works with a three-pitch mix of a low-90s fastball as well as a slider and changeup. He’s been adept this season at limiting hard contact, with his 2.5% barrel rate ranking among the best in the game in the early going. He’s also shown excellent spin rate, horizontal movement on his four-seam fastball and a whiff rate of better than 40%.
Drew Rasmussen, RHP
Rasmussen throws harder than Feyereisen, but also has had issues this season with command and control. He’s striking out more than 13 hitters per nine innings, but also walking more than six hitters per nine as well. Rasmussen ranked as Milwaukee’s No. 14 prospect entering the season. He works with a mix of an upper-90s fastball and a high-80s slider. He also has a changeup and curveball in the mix, but rarely throws either. Like Feyereisen, Rasmussen also gets excellent spin on his four-seam fastball.
Willy Adames, SS
Adames was once one of the Rays’ top prospects, having come over from Detroit in the deal that made David Price a Tiger. He’s hit the skids at the plate this year and was hitting just .197 at the time of the deal. Moreover, with Walls and Wander Franco in the wings, Adames was clearly not the Rays’ shortstop of the future.
He’ll look to revive his career in Milwaukee, where the shortstop options are extremely thin and led by another scuffling former top prospect, Luis Urias, who came over from the Padres in the deal that sent Trent Grisham to San Diego.
Trevor Richards, RHP
Like everybody in this deal except Drew Rasmussen, Richards is on at least his second trade. He came over to the Rays with Nick Anderson in the move that made Jesus Sanchez and Ryne Stanek into Marlins. Richards has been ineffective in his time in Tampa Bay, having worked to a 4.28 ERA while allowing 10.2 hits per nine innings out of the bullpen. He works with a three-pitch mix of a low-90s fastball, and a changeup and curveball both thrown in the low to mid 80s.