The hot stove is warm, baby. A week after Christian Yelich’s agent announced the outfielder’s relationship with the Marlins was “irretrievably broken,” he’s been shipped off to the Brewers in exchange for a solid haul of prospects: outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, second baseman Isan Diaz and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.
Brinson was generally considered Milwaukee’s top prospect—both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus have him No. 1—and Harrison and Diaz are also top-10 organizational talents. Compared to the returns that the Marlins have gotten on other trades this winter as they’ve desperately tried to slash payroll, this one is pretty damn good. Miami’s farm system is still a long way away from being respectable, but this package is one small step toward bolstering it. (It’ll still take a lot of steps.)
Meanwhile, Yelich is headed to a Brewers club that should be, at the least, decently interesting. A trade like this—a top-prospect set in exchange for a young star player with five years of team control remaining—would seem to indicate that they’re beginning to shift their focus from rebuilding into contending. Maybe there’s nothing in the persistent rumors about their pursuit of Yu Darvish and Lorenzo Cain, but the fact that those have even been semi-believable rumors at all is proof that this Brewers club wants to start playing to win.
And what’s next for the Marlins?