The Rays are on a hot streak. They have won seven in a row and are starting to gain some ground on the Red Sox in the American League East.
So it was a bit of surprise when we all got the news this afternoon that the Rays had traded shortstop Willy Adames to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Adames, known for his big smile and infectious personality, was one of the first to congratulate teammates on a big hit or home run. He also became a fan favorite the last three years in Tampa.
Adames will be eligible for arbitration this winter and in line to make three to four million dollars next season. That factored in the decision to trade Adames.
The news was just as shocking to Adames as the rest of the Rays fans across the country. Adames was traded along with pitcher Trevor Richards to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-handers J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen.
Adames had a good season offensively in the Covid shortened 2020 season but struggled in the postseason, and those struggles continued this season as Adames was off to a slow start hitting just .197.
Rays GM Erik Neander talked about the man, Willy Adames. “You can’t create a better human being than what Willy is; that makes decisions like these especially hard. We’ve watched him grow up in our organization. We’ve watched him be a part of winning clubs through the Minor Leagues, with our Major League team as well. And we wouldn’t have accomplished all that we’ve accomplished over the last several years without Willy.”
Adames was shocked by the trade that came out of nowhere but is excited to join the Milwaukee Brewers. “It’s a mix of feelings. I’m sad but excited. I’m excited for this new opportunity, new team, new beginning. I’m sad because I’m leaving my boys, leaving the Rays, leaving the fans.”
This was a trade that was bound to happen sooner rather than later with two excellent infield prospects at AAA Durham in Taylor Walls and Wander Franco.
Taylor Walls gets the call-up, and he will join the Rays on Sunday in Dunedin. Walls is hitting .327 with two homers and ten runs batted in 14 games.
So why Taylor Walls over Wander Franco?
Walls is much better defensively than Wander Franco and is the best defensive prospect in the Rays organization.
J.P. Feyereisen, the relief pitcher, acquired in the trade, will join the Rays bullpen. He is 0-2 with a 3.26 ERA on the season, and Rays manager Kevin Cash is excited about what he thinks Feyereisen will bring to the Rays bullpen.
“He just does some unique things, some special things. We think he’s really good now. We’d like to think that he can help us win games.”
Feyereisen has three main pitches. A fastball, change-up, and slider.
—The Rays also made another roster move today when they announced that pitcher Brent Honeywell has been called up. Louis Head was optioned after the game on Thursday, creating an opening in the bullpen. Honeywell will fill that opening in the Rays bullpen for now.