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’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.
Milwaukee Brewers make a trade with Miami,

MLB Hot Stove: Marlins trade Christian Yelich to Brewers for four prospects

Monday, January 22, 2018

By Adam McCalvy,  I think we need to change our thinking about the outfield under manager Craig Counsell, who has been pushing the idea of a "position player group" over our traditional notion of starters and backups.I see a scenario in which Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Phillips and Hernan Perez all get significant at-bats as outfielders. Santana is looking like a player who has to be out there nearly every day, but as Braun's plate appearances come down year to year and players like Broxton, Brinson and Phillips develop, Counsell might have enough playing time to go around.

Statcast: Santana's 476-ft. HR
Statcast: Santana's 476-ft. HR
Jul. 26th, 2017

It's certainly possible that one of those players is traded before the season begins, but to me this is an area in which we have to adjust our old notion of three "starting" outfielders.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Read more: Milwaukee Brewers