Why the addition of Travis Shaw makes Red Sox manager Alex Cora ‘feel old’

In his heyday with the Dodgers, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was teammates with former big-league right-hander Jeff Shaw from 1998 through 2021.

On Sunday, the Red Sox claimed Shaw’s son, major-league infielder Travis Shaw, off waivers from the Brewers, meaning Cora will now be managing one of his former teammates’ children.

“I know the kid,” Cora said of the younger Shaw following Sunday’s 6-2 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park. “Actually, finally, I feel old. I played with his dad. I saw Travis running around in the clubhouse in LA. So, at one point throughout this, I’m like, ‘Hopefully it doesn’t happen, that I have to manage a teammate’s kid.’ It happened. So, when I found out, I was like, ‘Wow.’ Yeah, you feel old.”

Shaw, who was drafted by the Red Sox out of Kent State University in the ninth round of the 2011 draft, spent the first two years of his major-league career (2015-2016) in Boston prior to being dealt to the Brewers (along with prospects) in exchange for reliever Tyler Thornburg in the winter of 2016.

While Shaw initially found success in Milwaukee by hitting 31 and 32 home runs in his first two seasons with the club, he regressed in 2019, was non-tendered that December, and ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays prior to the start of the 2020 campaign.

After his one and only season with Toronto came to a close, the Sox reportedly were interested in a reunion with Shaw, but he opted to return to the Brewers on a minor-league deal with the Brewers this past February.

After making Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, the 31-year-old got off to a sluggish start at the plate in which he slashed .191/.279/.337 with just six home runs and 28 RBI across 56 games (202 plate appearances) before dislocating his left shoulder during a game against the Reds on June 9.

The Brewers placed Shaw to the 60-day injured list on June 12, but decided to designate the veteran infielder just as he was nearing a return from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.

In designating Shaw for assignment, the Brewers accepted the fact that they could lose Shaw on waivers, and the Red Sox stepped up to the plate by claiming and adding him to their 40-man roster on Sunday.

By acquiring Shaw, the Red Sox were able to add yet another versatile player who is capable of playing around the infield while also providing power from the left side of the plate, as Cora explained on Sunday.

“He’s a good kid, he’s a good guy,” said Cora. “We’re going to use him the right way. I think he gives us more weapons to maneuver over nine innings. We can pinch-hit, we can platoon, we can do a lot of things with him. Looking forward to seeing him and start working with him.”

The reason the Red Sox were able to add Shaw, who was making $1.5 million this season, without making a corresponding 40-man roster move was on account of the fact that left-handed reliever Josh Taylor was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list earlier in the day, thus creating a spot for a new addition.

If Shaw is to join the Sox in New York on Tuesday ahead of their three-game series against the Yankees, which as of now sounds like the plan, the club would also need to make room on its 26-man major-league roster to acommodate him.

“I haven’t talked to Chaim [Bloom] about it,” Cora said when asked if Shaw will be joining the team right away. “Somebody mentioned that he’s here. So, I don’t know what the plan is, but I bet there’s a good chance he’ll be with us on Tuesday.”

(Picture of Travis Shaw: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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