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Travis Shaw is in The Best Shape of His Life

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When you work a beat long enough, sometimes the stories come to you. For that reason I guess it’s kinda lame that I’ve made my beat ballplayers claiming to be in The Best Shape of Their Lives and not something like national security, but we all make choices in life.

Anyway, the Brewers’ best beat writer tipped me to this yesterday:

Thatcould be pretty scary for opposing pitchers given that the Mayor of Ding Dong City put up his best season to date in 2017, hitting .273/.349/.513 with 31 homers and 101 RBI in his first season in Milwaukee. Usually a BSOHL claim follows a down year and is aimed at making people think things will improve. It’s pretty bold to proclaim such a status when you’re already excelling. Maybe he’s just excited. Given last week’s transactions he’s now going to have two other fine hitters — Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yellich — hitting alongside him. According to McCalvy, that has made every Brewers player feel good lately.

Given their talent level the Brewers were gonna be fun this year as it was, but they’ll be even more fun simply by virtue of being one of the only teams that has actually tried to improve itself this offseason. Where can I buy a Milwaukee cap? Gotta root for something in this world, so why not root for trying? And Shaw’s an Ohio kid, so that makes it even better.

 

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.