The Milwaukee Brewers have a wealth of talented outfielders on their roster. But after relatively quiet Winter Meetings in Nashville this week, a blockbuster deal between the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees that will see All-Star Juan Soto headed to the Bronx, also included one of the Brewers’ former leading outfield prospects who is no longer with the team.
In 2015, the Brewers selected Trent Grisham, one of baseball’s top prospects, with the 15th overall pick. He was ranked a top-five Brewers prospect in 2016, sitting just below All-Star reliever Josh Hader.
Now, Grisham is headed to the Yankees along with Soto, in exchange for right-handed pitchers Michael King and Jony Brito, right-handed pitching prospects Drew Thorpe and Randy Vásquez, as well as catcher Kyle Higashioka.
Former Milwaukee Brewers Top Prospect Trent Grisham Traded to New York Yankees Along With Juan Soto
Grisham spent the next four years in the farm system, ascending to Triple-A in 2019 and slashing .300/.407/.603 with 26 homers in 370 at bats that season.
Debuting for the big league team in 2019, he hit .231/.328/.410 with six homers in 51 games. But he may be best remembered for a critical error committed in the Brewers 2019 wild card game against the Washington Nationals when a ball, hit hard by none other than Soto and given up by none other than Hader, got past him.
Grisham was traded to the San Diego Padres on November 27, 2019, along with right-handed starting pitcher Zach Davies, in exchange for infielder Luis Urías and lefty starter Eric Lauer.
Urías batted worse than .250 in three seasons with the Brewers and was optioned to Triple-A in Nashville as the much-hyped Brice Turang took his spot. Lauer has had productive campaigns for the Brewers, with an impressive 3.19 ERA across 118 innings in 2021, but was placed on the injured list last season with a shoulder impingement.
Meanwhile, Grisham has struggled at the plate for the Padres, batting .198/.315/.352 in 469 at bats last season. But he has been critical on defense, receiving two Gold Glove awards in his time roaming center field in San Diego.
Juan Soto, Former Milwaukee Brewers First-Round Pick Trent Grisham Heading From San Diego Padres to New York Yankees
With the acquisition of Soto, as well as former Boston Red Sox player Alex Verdugo a few days ago, the Yankees appear to be well provisioned in the outfield. The likely Opening Day roster will have Soto in right field, Verdugo in left field and Aaron Judge moved to center field.
But Soto is not a strong defender — currently ranked 245th in outs above average — and the Yankees are doubtlessly looking to fix their weaknesses there from last season.
“In bringing in Grisham, 27, as part of the package, the Bronx Bombers are getting a two-time Gold Glove winner who joins an overhauled Yankees outfield that hopes to improve upon a 2023 weak spot,” per the New York Post. “His defense could be critical for the Yankees late in games, as Aaron Judge projects as an average center field defender while Soto ranks well toward the bottom in outs above average in the corner.”
Many Brewers fans are surely still rooting for Grisham, a heralded prospect who didn’t seem to get much chance to catch on in Milwaukee. Those who have continued to watch his career know that while Soto may be grabbing the headlines today, this latest blockbuster deal included much more.