The Brewers have signed top free-agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80 million deal, a source told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that the Brewers were in an agreement with Cain pending a physical, but Crasnick has said that Cain has passed the physical. He also said Milwaukee will “likely introduce Cain on Friday.” Crasnick says the deal also includes a no-trade clause and bonuses such as $300,000 for each All-Star team made and $500,000 for each MVP award earned.
Cain was drafted by the Brewers in the 17th round of the 2004 draft, and was traded to the Royals in a package for Zack Greinke. The 31-year-old outfielder is coming off a season in which he posted a 5.3 WAR and slashed .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI while playing a career-high 155 games. In his eight seasons with Kansas City, he has posted a .290/.342/.421 slash line and was an All-Star in 2015 — the year he helped the club win the World Series and also finished third in the AL MVP voting.
The news comes within a couple hours after the Brewers acquired outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins. It also comes a day after Cain reportedly had multiple four-year offers, but no teams were named. However, the Brewers, Rangers, Blue Jays, Giants Cubs and Indians had been connected with him this offseason.
The Brewers’ outfield is even more loaded now with the signing of Cain. Along with Cain and Yelich, they also have Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips and Hernan Perez.
With so much talent, it would make sense that Milwaukee tries to trade either Braun, Santana, Broxton, Phillips or Perez, but Braun has a full no-trade clause and would only accept a trade to the Dodgers. The Brewers have received interest from clubs on their other outfielders, mainly Santana, as the Giants looked at him earlier in the offseason but have since acquired Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson to shore up their outfield.