8. Travis Shaw, IF Milwaukee Brewers
The Mariners really want to clear space, IE Dee Gordon, in the infield to allow Shed Long to get everyday reps at second base. So adding another veteran infielder may seem a bit out there. But consider what happened last spring. Kyle Seager injured himself in the final week of Spring Training and the Mariners didn’t have the depth to absorb the loss.
Travis Shaw could be that depth. In fact, Shaw could force his way into the Mariners’ long-term plans… if he can return to his 2018 form. In 2018, Shaw hit .241/.345/.480 with 32 home runs, a 119 wRC+, and well-above-average defense at third.
Shaw also has some experience at second base, turns 30-years-old in April, has 2-years of club control remaining, and is scheduled to make just $4.6 million in arbitration this winter. Now, this probably leads to the question, “why would the Brewers trade him”?
Well, the Brewers are a mid-market team who has work to do to reach the top of the NL power structure and have limited funds to do it. In addition, the Brewers have 16! players eligible for arbitration this winter. They are going to have to move on from some of those players and Shaw actually gives them a chance to recoup some capital.
The Brewers just don’t have space on the roster or on their payroll to carry Shaw on their roster, giving the Mariners a chance to get a nice player who could recoup prospect capital down the road.