The Brewers, on the surface, appear to have a crowded outfield. Longtime left fielder Ryan Braun is still productive, right fielder Domingo Santana is coming off a breakout year, Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips provide flashy tools in center and top prospect Lewis Brinson is knocking on the door.
So would Milwaukee really be interested in free agent Lorenzo Cain?
Apparently so, Major League sources tell MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal reports the Brewers have expressed interest in Cain, who, remember, they drafted in the 17th round in 2004.
The Rangers are also reportedly interested in Cain, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
Texas appears to have a more glaring need than the Brewers do, after losing center fielder Carlos Gomez to free agency. As it currently stands, the Rangers' outfield consists of Nomar Mazara in right, Delino DeShields in center and rookie Willie Calhoun in left.
Cain came up with the Brewers and played 43 games with Milwaukee at the age 24 before he was shipped to Kansas City as part of a package for Zack Greinke. Now, the new regime in Milwaukee might be up for a reunion.
Cain has been a hot topic of conversation among Brewers executives this offseason, according to Rosenthal, who see a window of opportunity opening after an 86-win season in 2017.
Signing Cain would require the Brewers to get creative, and maybe that's the point. With so many outfielders already, opening a spot for Cain looks like it would require trading one. And young, controllable outfielders are exactly the kind of asset that can net a team exactly what the Brewers are looking for -- upgrades to the starting rotation.
Of course, the Brewers can also opt to sign a pitcher (say Jake Arrieta), and keep their outfield the way it is. But signing Cain, then dealing an outfielder for an arm, also remains a viable strategy -- and one the club is actively considering.