If Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich is the next Miami player on the move, count the Brewers among the teams interested in reeling him in.
The Brewers have shown "strong interest" in Yelich and have made a trade offer, SiriusXM national sports radio host Craig Mish reported via Twitter. Milwaukee is just one of at least 15 teams to show interest in Yelich, and talks between the Brewers and Marlins were not believed to be in advanced stages as of Tuesday afternoon.
Source : Brewers have put together a trade offer & have shown strong interest Marlins OF Christian Yelich. Other teams remain in the mix.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) January 23, 2018
The Yelich item was the latest in a flurry of rumors about the outwardly-quiet Brewers, whose general manager, David Stearns, has made a policy of not commenting on specific reports.
"We'll keep you guys guessing for a little while longer, but we're certainly working on things. I'll say this: It would not surprise me if we make a substantive move between now and Spring Training."
Acquiring Yelich would certainly qualify. He turned 26 in December and is a .290/.369/.432 hitter in four-plus Major League seasons. He has already won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award. And he is also locked into a contract that guarantees a reasonable $44.5 million for the next four seasons, with a $15 million club option for 2022.
Presumably, the Marlins' ask in a trade with the Brewers would begin with outfielder Lewis Brinson, Milwaukee's consensus top prospect. He is a native of South Florida who ranks No. 13 on MLB Pipeline's list of the top prospects in baseball.
Given Yelich's age, ability and friendly contract, it is widely expected to take multiple premium prospects to entice the Marlins to trade him now.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported that at least 15 teams have touched base with the Marlins on Yelich, whose relationship with the club has been strained in the wake of payroll-cutting trades that sent Miami starters Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon elsewhere. Yelich's agent, Joe Longo, told ESPN last week that Yelich would like to be traded to a contender.
Yelich is not the only Marlins player who could make sense for the Brewers. Miami has also fielded interest in catcher J.T. Realmuto and second baseman Starlin Castro, who play positions Milwaukee has examined upgrading. The Brewers also remain in the market for starting pitching and are familiar with Marlins right-hander Dan Straily, the former Reds player who is in his first offseason of arbitration.
Meanwhile, Yelich, who has manned left and center field in his career, plays positions at which the Brewers appear set. They have left fielder Ryan Braun locked into a big contract through 2020, right fielder Domingo Santana coming off his age-24 season and four years away from free agency, and prospects Brinson and Brett Phillips pushing Keon Broxton in center. But that has not stopped Stearns from positioning the Brewers to make an opportunistic play for an outfielder. Multiple reports, for example, have linked the Brewers to free agent Lorenzo Cain, who began his big league career in Milwaukee before being traded to Kansas City.
Acquiring an established outfielder could free Stearns to move someone from the Brewers' existing stable for another starting pitcher.