The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired center fielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins, according to Ken Rosenthal and others. Yelich has been rumored to be available all offseason, as the Marlins have been selling off veterans, and he had reportedly been seeking to get out of Miami.
Yelich, 26, has been a solid four win per year player for the Marlins over the past four years. The former first rounder is under contract for $43.25M over the next four years, with a $15M team option for 2022, which means you have the expectation of a high level of production for a relatively low salary for a number of years.
No word yet on the return, but with the Brewers getting Yelich, one would assume former Ranger first rounder Lewis Brinson would be going to Miami in the deal. Brinson went to Milwaukee, along with Luis Ortiz and Ryan Cordell, in the trade that brought Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to Texas at the deadline in 2016.
More on this as we get more details.
UPDATE — Lewis Brinson and Isan Diaz are reportedly going to Miami in this deal.
IDLE THOUGHT — The Brewers had reportedly expressed interest in free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who the Rangers have also been linked to. Acquiring Yelich would seem to take the Brewers out of the market for Cain — or, for that matter, Carlos Gomez or Jarrod Dyson, two other center fielders the Rangers could look at. Either way, the Brewers being out of the mix means less demand for a group of center fielders who were already not seeing a hot market, and could result in the Rangers getting one of those guys on the cheap. (Of course, as I published this, Ken Rosenthal tweeted this does not mean the Brewers are out on Cain, so...) Ed. note — yeah, ignore this whole paragraph.
UPDATE II — The deal is official. Yelich goes to Milwaukee for Brinson, Diaz, Monte Harrison and Jordan Yamamoto. Brinson and Harrison are the key pieces here, but still, this return is less than you would have expected for Yelich.