The Marlins have traded outfielder Christian Yelich to the Brewers for Lewis Brinson (OF), Monte Harrison (OF), Isan Diaz (MI), and Jordan Yamamoto (RHP). The move stabilizes the Brewers outfield and still allows them to make further moves. For the Marlins, they just continue selling off any valuable asset to lower payroll.
With Yelich, the Brewers receive a great all-around player. Last season, Yelich hit .282/.368/.439 with 18 homers and 16 steals while playing center field. He could easily surpass that home run total in his new hitter-friendly home park, which greatly boosts left-handed power. It’ll be tough for him to improve on his 2017 run and RBI totals since the top of the 2017 Marlins’ lineup was potent. At least he’ll no longer be playing for a Triple-A team in Miami.
As for the rest of the Brewers affected, this trade limits the playing time for several outfielders. For now, it looks like Yelich will be in right field, with the newly acquired Lorenzo Cain (who signed shortly after Yelich was acquired) in center. One of Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana figures to be dealt for starting pitching. If not, the team has discussed letting Braun spend some time at first base. Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton will serve in backup roles or could be trade bait, as well.
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As for Miami, they just seemed to be plucking players off of Milwaukee’s top-10 prospect list. According to Baseball America, the Marlins got Milwaukee’s No. 1 (Brinson), No. 5 (Harrison), and No. 9 (Diaz) prospects.
Brinson is the prized jewel of the players acquired. Baseball America rated each of his five prospect traits (Hit, Power, Run, Defense, Arm) as above average to plus. He was the centerpiece when the Brewers traded away Jonathan Lucroy. Besides being talented, Brinson has already played in the majors and can make an impact in 2018. If any player’s fantasy value takes a big jump here, it’s Brinson.
Harrison’s stock has been on the rise after a good 2017 campaign and a great showing in the Arizona Fall League. In Baseball America’s top 100 prospects, he came in at No. 75 overall. Harrison has the athletic ability to be a great player, especially as he’s starting to make more solid contact. The 22-year-old is probably a year or two away from contributing in the majors, though, as he’s yet to reach Double-A. He can be ignored for this season but could be an impact player in 2019.
Isan Diaz has a good chance to be a major league player, but he’s too far away from the majors to have any value outside of dynasty formats. Jordan Yamamoto is an OK arm but is also too far away from the majors to contribute this season.
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