Prior to the start of the 2018 season, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to sign outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80MM deal. Back then, Cain was coming off multiple incredible seasons with the Kansas City Royals including a World Series Championship in 2015. That year, he also finished third in MVP voting.
With Milwaukee, Cain was an All-Star in his first season and finally won his first career Gold Glove award in 2019. During the 2020 COVID season, he elected to opt out and then was hampered by multiple soft tissue injuries in 2021.
Now, as he prepares for the final season of his five-year contract and age 36 season, Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain has hinted that this season may be his last.
Cain said it himself, that health will largely dictate his decision following the 2022 season. In his tenure with the Brewers, a thumb injury slowed him down offensively in 2019 and that ultimately cost him the leadoff spot. Last year, multiple injuries to the lower extremities cost him several months of time on the injured list, limiting him to just 78 games.
That being said, Cain is not the type of player to not give it his all on any given night. He frequently is crashing into the outfield wall, more often than not making the catch. It truly has been remarkable to see him continue to put his body on the line as he ages and continue to compete after hard collisions.
Regardless of what happens after this season, this is the last guaranteed year that he and Christian Yelich will both be Brewers. They both signed on the same day, January 25th, 2018, and the hope is that together they can win a World Series.
Joining Cain in what may be his last best shot at a World Series is former Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen signed a one-year deal with the Crew following the lockout and is expected to serve primarily as the DH. Following the signing, FanGraphs updated its World Series odds projections and gave the Brewers a 15% chance to make the World Series.
Both Cain and McCutchen enjoyed tremendous seasons throughout the 2010s. At one point, either one of these players could have been considered one of the top center fielders in the game. Together they bring forth a lot of experience and leadership abilities. Hopefully this will be the difference for this year’s Brewers squad.
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Whether he retires or not, it has been a joy watching Lorenzo Cain in a Brewers uniform again. Maybe they can send him into a possible retirement with one more World Series under his belt.