There have not been a lot of free agent signings this offseason, but there has been some movement on the trade market, as the Miami Marlins are among the teams that have been cleaning house.
They dealt both of their All-Star outfielders, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, to the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.
Many thought their third starting outfielder, Christian Yelich, would be the next to go as he does not want to be the last man standing on a rebuilding team. That now appears to be the case.
The Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers announced Wednesday that Yelich will be headed to Milwaukee in exchange for prospects Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Isan Diaz and Jordan Yamamoto.
Brinson, who is one of the top outfield prospects in all of baseball, will be headlining the return for Miami in the deal.
In 156 games for the Marlins last season, Yelich hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 100 runs scored, 81 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native won a Gold Glove in 2014 and a Silver Slugger Award in 2016.
Yelich was linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers at one point this offseason, and a deal could have made sense given the depth in the Dodgers farm system and Yelich’s team-friendly five-year, $58.25 million remaining contract.
Ultimately, they may have felt that they do not need another left-handed hitting outfielder though with Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo already in the organization, and the Brewers ended up outbidding everyone for Yelich’s services.
Milwaukee is coming off a successful season as they went 86-76, barely missing the postseason. They have a solid young core of players and with the addition of Yelich could figure into the postseason picture in the National League for many years to come.
It will be interesting to see if the Brewers now shift their focus to the free agent starting pitching market. They have been linked to both Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta this offseason.