Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Top Five Presents In Recent Memory

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 23: Norichika Aoki's of the Milwaukee Brewers sunglasses, cap and glove sit on the steps on the Brewers dugout during during the sausage races in the game against the San Francisco Giants at Miller Park on May 23, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 23: Norichika Aoki's of the Milwaukee Brewers sunglasses, cap and glove sit on the steps on the Brewers dugout during during the sausage races in the game against the San Francisco Giants at Miller Park on May 23, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 15: Lorenzo Cain #6 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 15: Lorenzo Cain #6 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Lorenzo Cain

Next up is gift number three, all packed into a five year, $80 million dollar contract. David Stearns bringing back Lorenzo Cain was a massive boost to the young Milwaukee Brewers roster. His performance throughout the season solidified the Brewers lineup and defensive outfield.

Cain produced a top 15 season among all players (top five in the National League) in WAR while playing exceptional defense in center field. He wasn’t a slouch at the plate, either. His .308/.395/.417 slash line and 124 wRC+ was essential at the top of the lineup as a table setter. He also set a career high in steals at 30, though he needs to be more efficient with his attempts as he was caught a career high seven times.

David Stearns paid big for a consistent veteran and was rewarded with the season that Lorenzo Cain produced. His performance at the plate and in center field was well worth the $14 million he was due in 2018. Cain was a steal for Stearns last year, especially given that he didn’t have to trade away any assets to acquire him.

However, a five year, backloaded deal for a 32-year-old with his injury history does have the potential to become a problem. Cain has only played more than 130 games three times in his career and is only getting older at a position that doesn’t age kindly. If injury troubles or just natural deterioration in talent rear their ugly head down the road with $66 million still due then this contract will be a major problem for a small market team like Milwaukee.

Yet Stearns and Brewers’ fans aren’t worried about that. Cain is an essential part in making a deep run with this organization. With the team they currently possess and a weaker National League (nowhere near the talent the American League has), a trip to the World Series is well worth mortgaging the next three years.

So, the risk of Cain’s contract becoming an albatross in exchange for the reward of a legitimate chance at a banner is well worth it. As they say, banners fly forever and I’m sure no fan regrets the electric 2018 season they just experienced.

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