The MLB non-tender deadline just wrapped up and there were some notable names on the move. We covered two of them. Jonathan Villar was shipped to the Marlins and Maikel Franco was released by the Phillies. This last one I want to get to is VERY interesting. Travis Shaw went from one of the most valuable players on the Brewers to maybe the single worst player in the sport. What the hell happened to Travis Shaw? How did such a great player in his prime fall off a cliff?
Shaw, 29, was an 8 WAR player from 2017-2018. Then he was a -0.9 WAR player in 2019. So what the hell happened? A batting line of .157/.281/.270 line with seven home runs and a measly a .113 ISO in 270 plate appearances is inexplicable. Shaw has always hit lefties poorly. It’s why the Red Sox traded him. Still, Shaw was unplayable regardless of whether a lefty or righty was pitching.
Travis Shaw’s agent did release this statement via via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“we think Travis needs a change of scenery. No hard feelings about it. We’re sorry it didn’t work out. It’s a risk Travis is willing to take.”
The Brewers tried to bring back Shaw on a cheaper deal than his scheduled $4.7 million projected salary. Still, change of scenery? That’s it? I know that Milwaukee really wanted to push Keston Huira up the system and on the roster. They tinkered with Shaw over at second base. Maybe that messed with him? Maybe defenses found the right shifts? Who knows what happened. There are two possibilities. Either Shaw forgot how to play baseball or he just had a really bad year. No in-between.
Things do not look good for Milwaukee. They lost Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal this offseason. Travis Shaw just got cut. Orlando Arcia has not panned out. They also have zero reliable starters outside of Brandon Woodruff. Milwaukee has a lot of work to do if they want to return to the postseason.