The Milwaukee Brewers would seem to have a lot of oars in the water these days.
Two days after reports surfaced that the Brewers made an offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish, word came that they had put together a trade proposal for Miami outfielder Christian Yelich.
That report came in the form of a tweet from Craig Mish, National Sports Radio host for SiriusXM Radio, who reports on the goings on in Miami: "Source : Brewers have put together a trade offer & have shown strong interest Marlins OF Christian Yelich. Other teams remain in the mix."
Later came this second take on the matter from Joe Frisaro of mlb.com: As @CraigMish reported @Marlins and #Brewers have talked regarding Christian Yelich. I'm hearing many teams in mix. Nothing is in advanced stages. Lewis Brinson is a target for Miami.
With all of their outfield depth, why would the Brewers be interested in Yelich? Much like the reports of interest in free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, it would mean the club would be moving an outfielder to another club.
The Brewers have been shopping right fielder Domingo Santana, coming off his best year in the majors (30 HRs, 85 RBIs, .876 OPS). The Marlins have been looking for young, inexpensive players, and Santana is still in the minimum-salary neighborhood prior to being arbitration eligible.
Yelich made it clear he would like to be traded after Miami's new management, led by Derek Jeter, began stripping the payroll by trading outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna and second baseman Dee Gordon. They would be slashing more money if they dealt Yelich, who has four years remaining on a seven-year, $49.57 million extension that also includes a $15 million team option for 2022. Yelich has a $7 million salary for 2018.
Because Yelich is asking out, the Marlins are getting lots of action from teams making trade proposals. So, even if Miami does decide to move him, that doesn't mean the Brewers will get him.
Yelich, 26, a left-handed hitter, has evolved into a multi-dimensional threat in recent seasons. Last year, he batted .282 with 18 homers, 81 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and .807 OPS in 156 games for the Marlins. After playing left field earlier in his career, he played in center in 2017.
In 643 games with Miami, Yelich has batted .290 with a .369 OBP, 59 homers, 293 RBIs and 72 steals.
If the Marlins insist on getting Brinson in a deal for Yelich, I'm not sure the Brewers would do it. They wouldn't part with him last year in trade discussions for White Sox lefty Jose Quintana or Oakland righty Sonny Gray, who instead were traded to the Cubs and Yankees, respectively.
Brewers general manager David Stearns does not comment publicly on reports of activity by the club until moves are official, so don't look for any confirmation from their end. But Stearns has said more than once this winter that he remains "active" on both the trade and free agent markets, and that's obviously the case.
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