Miami trades Christian Yelich to Milwaukee
After trading Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins were left with just Christian Yelich in what was once arguably the best outfield in baseball, and he wanted out too. It was never a guarantee he’d be moved, but eventually a deal was worked out and they sent the young star to the Brewers on Thursday. For Miami, they did at least get a strong package of prospects led by outfielder Lewis Brinson along with infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto. Milwaukee will be more than happy giving up that talent, though, as they get one of the best young hitters in the game in Yelich who is entering his age-26 season and is under control for five years on an extremely team-friendly deal. The Brewers were surprise contenders in 2017, and it’s clear that they are confident in their chances for the next few years and are ready to go for it. They acquired another player later in the day that we’ll get to in a minute, and they’ve been connected to the best pitchers available this winter as well.
Milwaukee signs Lorenzo Cain
Just about an hour after completing the Yelich deal, a deal that seemingly locked up their outfield for the foreseeable future, the Brewers went out and signed Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80 million deal. The former Royal now has the largest contract that’s been handed out this winter and he’ll slot into center field for the Brewers. Cain is one of the more underrated players in the game as he excels in the field, has great bat-to-ball skills, can provide value on the bases and has some sneaky pop. The Rangers, Giants and Royals were among the other teams connected to the center fielder before he ultimately signed in Milwaukee. Now, the Brewers are left with one outfield spot for Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips. The latter two could fit in as bench players for now, but one would have to imagine at least one and possibly two of these guys could be traded before the year starts. I wouldn’t expect the Red Sox to go all-out for any of these guys, but there’s a chance one of the first two names could be of interest for that DH/fourth outfielder role that J.D. Martinez would slide into.
- According to a report from Jeff Passan, players who remain in free agency could start their own spring training camp, indicating a willingness to wait a while before they sign. The hope was that Cain’s signing would indicate that the dam was about to break and we were going to get a bunch of signings in succession. Don’t hold your breath on that, unfortunately.