Adames and Urías' bond blossomed from uncertain beginnings

March 26th, 2023

PHOENIX -- was excited about the trade that sent him from the Rays to the Brewers in 2021. It meant home games at American Family Field, a great place to hit. It meant the chance to play for another contender.

He had only one concern.

How would his friend feel about Adames taking over at shortstop?

“At the beginning, I was a little worried,” Adames said. “I didn’t know how he was going to take the news."

The two happen to share the same agent, Giovanni Rodriguez. After the trade, Adames made the connection to gauge Urías’ reaction. He was thrilled when Urías was so welcoming.

“In the end, this is a business, and he didn’t necessarily have to do it,” Urías said. “But it meant a lot to me that he took the time to be cool about it.”

Said Adames: “It was great because not everybody would have that maturity when a team is bringing in another guy for your position. Not every guy is going to go, ‘No, it’s OK.’ It was great to see that he was mature enough to know what was best for the team.”

Adames joined the Crew on May 22, 2021, and his friendship with Urías blossomed into something like a brotherhood. Rarely does one see Adames or Urías without the other, on or off the field. They even have neighboring lockers in the Brewers’ Spring Training clubhouse, which stood empty while Adames played for the Dominican Republic and Urías played for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

Both players returned last week to put the finishing touches on their preparation for the 2023 season. They’re important pieces for Milwaukee, with Adames coming off a career-high 31 home runs and a second consecutive club MVP honor and Urías coming off a career-best 2.3 fWAR.

“They're infielders, same age, so very similar experiences,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “They're kind of at the same place in life, as much as anything. And they're good friends.

“If you remember going back to Willy's arrival, it meant something different for Luis. And it ended up really just helping Luis flourish. It could have gone the opposite way when you think about it. That's a credit to Willy, right?”

Adames and Urías in Milwaukee. Photo credit: @luisurias97

What is it about the duo that made them click?

“With Willy, I always ask him how he manages to be happy all the time,” Urías said. “It’s like his style. He can miss a pitch, and he’s still friendly with everyone. When I play, I can’t be like that. I’m very serious, very focused."

“He’s a very humble kid,” Adames said. “He’s been learning a lot, and I just love the guy. He’s such a sweet guy. He comes every day with the same attitude. He doesn’t change. I love that about him, and I love the way he treats everybody in the clubhouse. And off the field, we have even a better relationship than we have on the field.”

Adames and Urías explore and share a meal in Urías' hometown in Mexico. Photo credit: @willy2802 (left), @luisurias97 (right)

In each of the past two offseasons, the two have traveled to see each other. Adames has been to Urías’ hometown of Magdalena de Kino, Mexico, twice -- including in 2021 for Urías’ father’s birthday. Urías returned the favor that same winter when he visited Santiago in the Dominican Republic to see Adames’ hometown. And this past winter, Adames visited Mexico again while a film crew was documenting Luis and his big league brother, Ramón.

“To see his community and where he comes from, that was just great,” Adames said. “That makes me understand him a little bit more. Now I understand why he is how he is and why he treats everybody the way he does. It’s from the love that his family showed him while he was growing up.”

Urías and Adames overlooking Playa Coson in the Dominican Republic. Photo Credit: @luisurias97

And what did Urías learn about Adames?

One, that Adames’ mother is a fantastic cook. But there was more.

“I met his family -- his entire family -- when I went to the Dominican. That was a lot of fun,” Urías said. “I think he’s all about family. He’s all about friendship.”

“He’s been to the Dominican before,” Adames said, “but I got to show him the right way.”

They’ll keep trying to do things the right way this season.

“He’s just like a little brother to me,” Adames said. “I try to take care of him. We try to help each other. It’s always great to have someone like that on the team. Him and Freddy [Peralta] are like two brothers to me. I love everybody here, but with them, I’m more close.

“It’s amazing to have a friendship with your teammates like that. It makes everything easier when you come in here."