All professions are not created equal, for every Christian Yelich profession, there is the Trent Grisham trade, which was apparently recognized as a failure by the Front Office when the Brewers traded for Willy Adames. But, what if the Trent Grisham – Luis Urias trade wasn’t as bad as we all remember?
Personally, I was very excited when the Brewers acquired Luis Urias and Eric Lauer in exchange for Trent Grisham and Zach Davies. It seemed like a deal that benefited both teams and gave two prospects the opportunity to blossom. Grisham definitely prospered, becoming a star in San Diego after winning a Gold Glove at Center Field.
After losing the starting shortstop position, it turned out that the Urias-Grisham trade was a failure. While the Padres may have gotten the best deal, Luis Urias started to show the potential the Brewers saw when they traded for him.
Last season was a washout for Urias, battling COVID and a broken hamate. This season, he won and then lost the starting shortstop before finding seemingly consistent playing time as Travis Shaw recovers from his dislocated shoulder.
Since losing the starting shortstop role on May 22, Urias has slashed by .266 / .363 / .494, with a wRC + of 136, which has pushed his wRC + season above the league average of 100. Urias has already hit a career-high eight home runs over the season, and has adapted well to his changing role.
Entered into action on June 21, Urias has a wRC + of 110, 10% above the league average. His OPS of 0.762 gives him an OPS + of 109. His batting average is still low at 0.237, but his OBP is 0.342 and his stroke percentage is 0.420. However, in the month after Adames swap, Urias reduced by 0.278 / .375 / .500. His wRC + over this period is 141.
Urias’ BABIP has also increased. For the season it is 0.287, from April 1 to May 20 it was 0.250. As of May 21, his BABIP has been 0.333. BABIP generally hovers around the .300, indicating that Urias has been unlucky for the first two months of the year, and has been lucky last month. Things should eventually level out for Urias.
Looking at how Urias ranks among the various positions, he has the 10th best wRC + among qualified shortstops (3.1AP / Game), which would be the 12th best wRC + among qualified third baseman, and would be at tied for 11th among qualified second baseman.
Looking at his 141 wRC + since May 21, Urias ranks 2nd among third baseman, 4th among shortstops and 9th among second baseman. A month after the start of the Adames era, it appears that trade has not only benefited Adames, but Urias as well. His wRC + is 31st in all of baseball since that date.
Grisham has struggled with injuries this season, making two separate trips to the IL for a hamstring and for a heel bruise. Despite this, Grisham reduced .269 .346 / .485 with a wRC + of 130 over the season.
There are a lot of domino effects as a result of this trade. If the Brewers had kept Grisham, it seems unlikely they would have both Avisail Garcia and Jackie Bradley Jr in the fold. Cain may have passed to right field, as Grisham took over every day at center.
At the time of the exchange, the brewers and chaplains were dealing from a position of strength. In the long run, it’s still likely that the Padres won the trade, securing a Gold Glove outfielder in exchange for a consistent starting infielder, but with his solid performance in the first half of 2021, Luis Urias shows that it does. may not have been as one-sided as we feared.
They can still recover some value from this trade, and much of that depends on what kind of role Urias can carve out for the future.