It was a surprise when rumors linking the Milwaukee Brewers to Lorenzo Cain came out last week. How real is the interest in Cain? Would he fit in with their lineup? What else would need to happen for Cain to arrive?
Lorenzo Cain would look great at the top of the Milwaukee Brewers lineup. If the 2018 season were played by video game rules, Cain makes sense for the Brew Crew. His ratings would be higher than the other center field options, and his ability to get on-base would help at the top.
The 2018 Major League Baseball season won’t be played on a PlayStation or XBox One. Signing players like Cain to long term deals have a long term impact on Major League rosters. If Cain were to arrive, several moves would follow.
How real is the interest in Lorenzo Cain?
The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t just doing their due diligence. It was reported that they have discussed Cain frequently. Whether an offer was made or not is unknown.
There’s a lot to like about Cain. He would fit into center field and possibly hit lead off. He owns a .342 OBP for his career, and posted a career high mark of .363 last year. Cain would provide the Brewers with a more complete answer than most of the options they’ve been chasing this off season.
What else would have to occur?
First, Keon Broxton would have to go…immediately. Cain makes his way into the lineup almost every day and lacks an obvious platoon split. There wouldn’t be any at bats for Broxton with Cain on the roster.
Second, Domingo Santana would get closer to leaving. The Milwaukee Brewers have a glut of outfielders. Ryan Braun isn’t going anywhere. A long term deal for Cain locks him into center field. Santana has value and would need to go to open up a starting role for either Brett Phillips or Lewis Brinson. There’s no way all three would stay past the trade deadline. Someone would have to go, and Santana makes the most sense.
The Milwaukee Brewers might as well sign Jake Arrieta as well. Adding Cain is a sign that the team is going ‘all-in’ for 2018. Might as well try to add an arm that can slot into the top spot in the rotation.
The Milwaukee Brewers have interest in Lorenzo Cain, and may actually sign him. However they would have to flip at least two outfielders for the move to make sense. Given the snail’s pace of the off season, it’s hard to see that many deals coming together a month before Spring Training.