It was the scary (non-Darvish) rumor earlier this week, and now it’s happened: the Brewers are getting Christian Yelich.
Christian Yelich traded to #Brewers, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 25, 2018
The return isn’t yet out there, but it’s going to have taken a significant package to get five cost-controlled years of Yelich. He’ll be a significant upgrade for the Brewers … especially if they pair his acquisition with a trade of one or more of their other young outfielders for a pitcher, which I’d imagine is next up in their plans.
Stay tuned, because the Brewers may be rapidly improving in the coming days. Will it be enough to make them an immediate threat to the Cubs in the NL Central? Well, it depends a little on what the teams do for the rest of the offseason, but as we saw last year, they are a sufficiently young club with enough upside to be surprisingly competitive. Yelich ain’t gonna hurt that.
UPDATE: A couple top prospects (at least) going to the Marlins:
Marlins get Brinson and Diaz
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2018
UPDATE 2: The deal is official, and it’s a four-prospect package going to the Marlins:
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 25, 2018
For what it’s worth, Brinson was ranked 18th and Harrison was ranked 75th on the just-released top 100 prospect list at BA. Diaz and Yamamoto are legit prospects, albeit low-level ones.
It’s probably a fair return for Yelich, but here’s the thing: the Brewers can easily absorb this loss thanks to a very strong farm system. They are not feeling too much pain today.
Moreover, the deal sets them up to be able to spend more money on pitching (or trade young outfielders for it), and you can expect they will be making another move to improve the 2018 club before all is said and done. But hey, the Cubs are probably going to make a significant addition, too, right?