The Milwaukee Brewers seem to be open for business after sending star pitcher Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. If they are ready to deal, the SF Giants should see what the price is for shortstop Willy Adames.
SF Giants should connect with Brewers on trade for slick-fielding shortstop following blockbuster move
The Brewers are a small-market club, so they have to make pre-emptive moves like these to recoup value. In the case of Burnes, he was coming off of a solid 2023 season in which he tallied a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts while making his third straight All-Star team.
However, the right-handed hurler has one year of team control remaining. The Brewers do not typically have the spending ability to re-sign a pitcher like Burnes once he hits free agency, so moving him to acquire prospects before he departs is how Milwaukee has to operate.
Adames is in a similar position. The 28-year-old shortstop has one season of team control remaining before he hits free agency. The Brewers have to decide whether they can afford to retain him once he hits free agency. If they cannot, then a move before the trade deadline is likely. The Burnes move is a bit surprising given that the Brewers had conveyed this offseason that they were not keen on trading him. That no longer is the case and Adames could be the next in line.
The Giants could definitely use another shortstop. Marco Luciano is penciled in as the everyday shortstop for 2024 but he could use more minor league seasoning before that happens. Adames could serve as a quality stopgap and could even be something that the Giants are interested in retaining beyond 2024.
The right-handed bat slashed .217/.310/.407 (95 OPS+) with 24 home runs, 80 RBI, and 73 runs in 638 plate appearances. The .717 OPS is a bit below his career .759 OPS, but he still swatted 24 home runs. In addition to this, he has a reputation for strong defense as he posted +16 Outs Above Average (OAA) at shortstop in 2023. That would fix a lot of the team's defensive issues.
On paper, Adames makes a lot of sense for San Francisco. That point is even truer if the Brewers are willing to deal their shortstop. That said, this is not the type of move that a risk-averse Giants front office has often made. While Adames checks off a lot of boxes for the Giants, it requires the front office to pick up the phone and try to work out a deal.