David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers dropped a bombshell earlier this evening, announcing a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins for outfielder Christian Yelich. But this may be only the beginning of a series of moves that could take place before the start of Spring Training, as it’s being reported that the Brewers have landed one of the top free agents available:
#Brewers in agreement with free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, sources tell The Athletic. Deal is pending a physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 26, 2018
Lorenzo Cain has agreed on a 5-year, $80M deal with the #Brewers, source says. It’s the biggest free agent contract of the offseason. The deal includes no-trade protection and significant award bonuses. Milwaukee building a super outfield with addition of Yelich and Cain.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 26, 2018
Cain, who turns 32 in April, is certainly familiar with Milwaukee after getting drafted by them in the 17th round back in 2004 and coming up through their minor league system. He debuted with the big league team back in 2010 but was traded to Kansas City the following winter in the Zack Greinke deal.
It took another few years after that, but Cain established himself as one of the league’s top center fielders during his time in Kansas City. He grades out as an outstanding defender and has batted .290/.342/.421 with 57 home runs and 127 steals across 756 MLB games. Baseball-Reference values his contributions at 27.8 Wins Above Replacement during his parts of 8 seasons at the game’s highest level.
What this means for Domingo Santana and the rest of the outfield mix, I guess we’ll find out soon.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference