The Padres have acquired right-handed starter Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham from the Brewers in exchange for infielder Luis Urías and left-handed starter Eric Lauer, according to reports from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, ESPN’s Jeff Passan, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday morning:
Correction: Zach Davies, not Kyle. https://t.co/Q1gSE5FyNI— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 27, 2019
Though Chris Paddack figures to line up as the Padres’ ace moving forward, Davies gives them a dependable veteran presence in the rotation. In a year where the average ERA around the league was 4.49, Davies’ 3.55 ERA over 31 starts for the Brewers this past season was very impressive. To go along with that, the undersized right-hander posted a 1.29 WHIP with 102 strikeouts and 51 walks over 159.2 innings, so it’s not hard to tell that he’s going to be at his best when he’s given the freedom to pitch to contact and take advantage of his stellar command.
Grisham, 23, gets a change of scenery that was probably in the best interest of his mental health after he made a costly error that allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning of this year’s Wild Card Game against the Nationals. The left-handed hitter was solid as a rookie, hitting .231/.328/.410 with six homers in 183 plate appearances after posting an amazing (but possibly padded by the juiced ball) .300/.407/.603 slash line with 26 homers at Triple-A Nashville. It’s unclear where Grisham fits in San Diego’s outfield mix — the Padres are set to return four outfielders (Manuel Margot, Wil Myers, Josh Naylor, and Hunter Renfroe) in 2020 and will have Franchy Cordero back from an injury, so Grisham may end up beginning the season back in Triple-A.
The 22-year-old Urías, the highest-profile player heading to Milwaukee in the deal, has long been considered one of the best infield prospects in baseball, but he was going to be blocked from ever playing his natural position (shortstop) on a long-term basis in San Diego due to the presence of franchise icon Fernando Tatis Jr. It hasn’t helped Urías’ cause that he’s largely struggled in the majors, hitting .221/.318/.331 with six home runs in 302 plate appearances over limited runs during the last two seasons. With that said, a lightbulb did seem to go on for him in September, as he posted a .300/.371/.425 slash line with two homers over 89 plate appearances. With Milwaukee seemingly having lost patience with shortstop Orlando Arcia, a former prospect himself who has also struggled to hit in the majors, Urías figures to be the Brewers’ primary starting shortstop in 2020.
Lauer, a 24-year-old lefty, was an impressive prospect in his own right but has struggled for the most part over his first two seasons in the big leagues, throwing for a 4.40 ERA with a 1.46 WHIP, 238 strikeouts, and 97 walks over 261.2 career innings. But perhaps under the watchful eye of Brewers manager Craig Counsell, he’ll be put in better situations to succeed and start living up to his potential in Milwaukee.