Was Trading Travis Shaw Worth It?


Travis Shaw was traded alongside Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington to the Milwaukee Brewers for setup man Tyler Thornburg.

Almost nine out of 10 Red Sox fans would tell you that trading Shaw away was a big mistake.

But at the time of trade, it seemed like the right thing to do. No one knew that Pablo Sandoval would come back worse than ever. No one knew that Brock “Utility” Holt would have to almost miss the entire first half of the year with vertigo. No one knew that Tyler Thornburg would need to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. No one knew that the bullpen would do a complete 180°. No one knew that Shaw would turn into a complete stud.

A lot can happen during one offseason.


Last season Shaw played in 145 games switching between third and first base. He only hit 16 home runs and hit at a .242 clip. However, this year with the Brewers, he’s boasting 20 bombs and an average of .291 over his 81 games played.
If he keeps it up, all of his batting numbers could easily reach new career-highs.

This year, the Red Sox have had a total of eight different men try their hand at third base. That list includes names such as Steve Selsky, Marco Hernandez, Tzu-Wei Lin and many more!

As a whole unit, 18 errors have been committed at that position.
Errors by Shaw this year at third are sitting at four.

This club has a major void on the left side of the infield that could benefit from a strong bat and good glove. Could it be Miguel Cabrera? Rafael Devers? Time will tell.

Photo Credit: CBS Sports (top)/Boston Globe (bottom)

The only real consistency in the bullpen last year came from Heath Hembree (2.65) and Robbie Ross Jr. (3.25) They both had the two best earned run averages among relievers who were in Boston all season.

The bullpen was primarily just lacking the consistency that it now has this year.

Joe Kelly’s numbers were really rough last year. He had an ERA of 5.18, but now it’s at 1.49.

Other notable improvements came from Craig Kimbrel who could barely record a clean save but is now completely untouchable, and Fernado Abad who cut his ERA in half and is now a solid middle reliever.

In my opinion, Dave Dombrowski was right in wanting to trade away a .240 hitter who had little power for a setup man with a career ERA of 2.87.

Sometimes there are good trades that end bad. Sometimes there are bad trades that end good.
This trade was great, but ended terribly.


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