Milwaukee Brewers
Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich join the Milwaukee Brewers (Jared Carrabis/Barstool Sports)

In an MLB offseason that has been eerily quiet, the Milwaukee Brewers made some noise last week by trading for Miami Marlins’ outfielder Christian Yelich, and signing Kansas City Royals’ outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a 5-year $80 million deal.

The Brewers finished second in the National League Central in 2017 and came within a game of the second NL Wild Card spot, so the acquisition of two of the game’s most well-rounded outfielders may very well carry them over the hump. Milwaukee has clearly adopted a “win now” mentality because the addition of Yelich didn’t come cheap.

The Brewers shipped their number one prospect in Lewis Brinson to Miami, along with number five prospect Monte Harrison and number nine prospect Isan Diaz. They also parted ways with right-hander Jordan Yamamoto, who was quickly making a name for himself in A-ball, striking out 113 batters in 111 innings last year. That being said, Yelich is only owed $43.25 million over the next four years, with a $15 million club option coming before the 2022 season, so the discount the Brewers are getting for a player of his caliber easily compensates for what they had to give up to get him.

The talented outfielder is only going to get better as he’s only going into his age-26 season, and has already been able to prove himself by maintaining a .290 batting average and .800 OPS since breaking into the Bigs in 2013. The Brewers won this trade and to be honest it really wasn’t all that close.

When it comes to the addition of Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers already know what they’re getting, and that’s an extremely reliable, all-star caliber talent both with the glove and with the bat. The guy has made a total of eight errors in 740 games since his debut in 2010, which is ridiculous for anyone, let alone Cain and his aggressive nature of play. At the plate, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with at the top of that Brewers lineup.

Cain showed everyone in 2015 he’s capable of putting up MVP-type numbers when he recorded a slash line of .307/.361/.477 and finished third in the American League voting behind Josh Donaldson and Mike Trout. Basically, if aliens didn’t exist Lorenzo Cain would have been the AL MVP that year. Without him, there’s virtually no shot the Royals bring a World Championship back to Kansas City.

For the last few years, Cain has been as good as they come for center fielders, posting an average WAR of 5.2 since 2014. With WAR being the saber-metric that probably carries the most weight in today’s game, Lorenzo Cain is a player most teams would’ve dished out the big bucks for. But at $80 million over 5 years, Milwaukee locked up Cain at a rather team-friendly price. Granted he is currently 32, so by the time his contract expires at age 37 his production is bound to drop off a little bit, but I’m sure the Brewers are still more than happy to pay what they did for a player of his caliber.

With Yelich and Cain now joining long-time Brewer Ryan Braun in the outfield of Miller Park, it’ll be interesting to see what Milwaukee does with 25-year old right-fielder Domingo Santana. In 2017, Santana had a breakout season as he hit .278 with 30 homers and 85 RBI. While this is a predicament that will need to addressed eventually, it’s definitely not a bad problem to have if your Craig Counsell and the Brewers front office.