With Spring Training set to begin in less than a month, the Milwaukee Brewers will have a lot of kinks to work out as they become familiar with newly acquired players and adapt to the shift in the starting lineup.
The Brewers acquired outfielder Christian Yelich on Thursday in a trade that sent four younger prospects to the Marlins. Included in the trade was Lewis Brinson, who has showed star-potential with his size, speed and power, but has struggled so far in the majors. Yelich, 26, is a proven fielder and has done well at the plate over the course of his career. He brings an immediate upgrade to the Brewers’ outfield and will be a regular starter.
Shortly after news broke that the Brewers had traded for Yelich, the team made another move to bolster their outfield. Free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain signed with Milwaukee on a five year, $80 million dollar deal. A former All Star, Cain, 31, brings consistent hitting on offense as well as solid defensive capabilities.
With the arrival of two new starter-quality outfielders, the Brewers will have a shakeup in the way things look out there on the green grass. Longtime left fielder Ryan Braun has already talked to the team about moving to first base to allow for Yelich, Cain, and last year’s breakthrough player Domingo Santana to occupy the outfield for the Crew.
“I’ll do the best I can at wherever they want me to play,” Braun said.
The team will have a few weeks to prepare and begin adapting to the new lineup before heading out to Arizona for Spring Training games in late February. Excitement surrounds the franchise right now as the team looks to build on a fantastic season last year that saw them fall just short of making the playoffs. Perhaps that excitement could grow even more if the front office continues to make moves and signs a marquee pitcher such as Yu Darvish, who’s name has been linked to Milwaukee.
Even if these two new acquisitions prove to be Milwaukee’s only major moves of the offseason, there is plenty to look forward to for Brewers fans. The regular season is just a couple months away, and the Brewers will be a threat in the NL Central come Opening Day.
Quotes courtesy of ESPN.