Blue Jays sign first baseman Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the ball after hitting the game-winning three-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the tenth inning at Busch Stadium on May 1, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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It wasn’t an official trade, but a swap of cities nonetheless.

With former Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak signing with the Brewers on Friday, former Milwaukee utility infielder Travis Shaw is coming the other way.

The Jays signed Shaw to a one-year contract that will be in the US$4-million range, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Though he struggled at the plate in 2019 in Milwaukee, it is expected that Shaw will see plenty of duty at first base this year with the departure of former All-Star Smoak.

In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, however, the left-handed hitting Shaw belted a combined 63 home runs.

Presumably, the Jays saw some upside in Shaw’s versatility. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has also played at third base and DH.

Shaw struggled mightily last season, however, hitting just .157 with the Brewers including seven home runs in his 230 at bats.

Speaking of DH, a source familiar with the Jays said they continue to consider the team’s former slugger, Edwin Encarnacion, who is also a free agent. Encarnacion can also play first, though the team wants to have a long look at Rowdy Tellez at the position as well.