Shaw has gone 1-for-11 with a double and a 1:7 BB:K through his first five Grapefruit League games. After inking a one-year deal with Toronto in December following a rough 2019 campaign in Milwaukee, Shaw acknowledged that he revamped his swing over the winter in an attempt to get his career back on track. The early returns this spring haven't been encouraging, but the Blue Jays should at least give Shaw the opportunity to play regularly against right-handed pitching early in the season with the hope that he can eventually rediscover his pre-2019 form. Shaw has been seeing most of his action this spring at first base, but he should also be in the mix for starts at third base on the occasions manager Charlie Montoyo wants to give Vladimir Guerrero a day out of the field.
Shaw blamed his poor 2019 campaign on a failed swing change Friday, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reports. Shaw saw his slash line collapse from .241/.345/.480 in 2018 to .157/.281/.270 last season. His hard-hit rate barely changed, falling from 38.0 percent to 37.9 percent, but his launch angle jumped from 16.6 degrees to 24.4 degrees and his strikeout rate soared from 18.3 percent to 33.0 percent. It's far from guaranteed that Shaw will bounce back with the Blue Jays, but the fact that he can at least point to something concrete does give some reason to believe that his struggles are solvable.
Shaw agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with the Blue Jays on Sunday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. It's not surprising that he settled for a one-year deal, as his age-29 season was easily his worst as a big leaguer. He hit .157/.281/.270 with seven home runs and a career-worst 33 percent strikeout rate -- well above the 18.4 and 22.8 percent rates he logged in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Per Scott Mitchell of TSN.ca, the plan is for Shaw to play almost every day at first base, which leaves Rowdy Tellez to fight for at-bats at designated hitter. Shaw's contract could end up being worth $4.675 million with incentives.
Shaw was non-tendered by the Brewers on Monday, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. This is a surprising move by Milwaukee, despite the fact that Shaw slashed .157/.281/.270 with seven home runs and 16 RBI over 86 games a season ago. There's a good chance someone will take a flier on Shaw, considering he belted 32 home runs in 2018.
Shaw is on the Brewers' roster for Tuesday's National League Wild Card Game in Washington. It's been a very disappointing season for Shaw, but he still makes the cut as one of the 15 position players the Brewers will carry for the single-elimination contest. The team will likely carry more relievers should it qualify for the NLDS, meaning Shaw could wind up missing the cut for that round.