Thursday, January 25, 2018


Brewers Agree To Terms With Lorenzo Cain


In a stunning turn, the Brewers have agreed to a deal with free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). It’s a five-year, $80MM deal, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link), which includes no-trade protection and “significant award bonuses.”
Having passed his physical, per Crasnick (via Twitter), Cain will join Christian Yelich in a stunningly re-made Milwaukee outfield — opening up new avenues for trades of existing players that could shake the market. The signing also breaks open a moribund free agent signing period, with a premium player scoring a big contract for the first time in weeks.
Entering the day, the Brewers featured Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana in the corners, with a trio of young options — Keon Broxton, Lewis Brinson, and Brett Phillips — up the middle. Now, Brinson is out, Cain and Yelich are in, and the remaining players (excepting, perhaps, Braun) appear to be possible trade chips.
Milwaukee had a clear need to improve its rotation when the winter started, particularly given uncertainty surrounding righty Jimmy Nelson. The organization has decided first to improve the outfield, though that could all be part of a plan to move other assets for starting pitching. Santana and Phillips could both be hotly pursued assets, with a variety of teams — the Athletics, Braves, and Rays all make some degree of sense on paper — potentially representing suitors with some pitching on offer.
As much as the signing could mean for the trade market, it’s a welcome sign for players anxiously watching a slow-motion free agent period. In MLBTR’s top 50 free agent ranking, we predicted that Cain would secure $70MM over four years, so this represents a strong contract for the excellent but soon-to-be 32-year-old outfielder.

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