The Brewers have added their second outfielder of the day. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the club has signed free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain. It’s a five-year, $80 million deal, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The contract includes no-trade protection and award bonuses.
Cain joins newcomer Christian Yelich — acquired earlier — in the Brewers’ outfield. He will presumably play center field while Yelich will handle right field and Ryan Braun will return to left field. That means that Domingo Santana and/or Keon Broxton will almost certainly be traded, likely in an attempt to acquire starting pitching. Braun could also be traded to offload some salary.
Cain, 31, hit .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 26 stolen bases in 645 plate appearances with the Royals last year. He brings an above-average bat, speed, and plus defense to the Brewers, who have set themselves up as legitimate contenders in the NL Central.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.