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.
The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.
Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.
Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.