The Miami Marlins’ firesale continued on Thursday when the Milwaukee Brewers struck a deal to acquire star outfielder Christian Yelich. In return, the Marlins will acquire four prospects: outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto and infielder Isan Diaz.
Yelich has been an oft-speculated trade candidate since the Marlins’ announced their intended tear down and rebuild. In Yelich, the Brewers will acquire a star caliber outfielder who will remain under team control through 2022.
Over his five-year career, the 26-year-old outfielder has slashed a very strong .290/.369/.432 with 59 home runs and 72 stolen bases, while exhibiting very strong defense in left and center field. He provides the Brewers with a much-needed upgrade in the outfield and will certainly help them competing against the division rival Chicago Cubs.
Lewis Brinson has been a highly rated prospect for years, dating back to his time in Texas. He was acquired by the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy deadline deal of 2016 and has performed as well as the Brewers could have hoped in Triple-A Colorado Springs. While he struggled upon making his major league debut, he hit an absurd .331/.400/.562 in the minors. It seems very likely that the 23-year-old will be on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster, and could even be featured in the starting line-up.
Isan Diaz was acquired by the Brewers from Arizona in the Jean Segura trade. While he had something of a breakout campaign in 2016, hitting .264/.358/.469 in Class A, he was unable to follow that up last season as he stumbled to a .222/.334/.376 batting line, after being promoted to High-A. Diaz profiles as a utility infielder with a strong glove and decent power, similar to current Padres shortstop, Freddy Galvis. He should be in the major leagues at some point in 2019.
Jordan Yamamoto was a 12th round selection by the Brewers in 2014 and has reached High-A where he posted a strong 2.51 ERA over 111 innings pitched, being utilized primarily as a starter. The 21-year old right-hander has strong control, and while he has been used in relief at times in the minor leagues, there really are no indications that he won’t be able to succeed in the rotation. Yamamoto seems likely to begin the 2018 season at Double-A and could be up in 2019.
Monte Harrison is a very toolsy outfielder with a strong glove, but an inconsistent bat. He seems likely to begin 2018 at Class A Advanced, and should advance quickly assuming he picks up where he left off in 2017, when he posted a strong .272/.341/.487 line over 252 plate appearances at that level. At the very least, Harrison seems likely to make it to the major leagues as a fourth outfielder based on his strong glove, speed and flashes of power, however, based on his tools, could really light the world on fire in Miami.
This is a perfect deal for both sides. Miami was did a very good job in getting something of an “earth-shattering” return for their young, financially inexpensive and insanely talented outfielder, as Lewis Brinson could become the face of the franchise for years to come, and the other three pieces look like they can be serviceable pieces in the future.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, this acquisition puts them in a very good position to battle it out with the juggernaut Chicago Cubs for years to come. Yelich is cost-controlled through 2022 and provides the Brewers with that star power that they have been looking to add to their line-up all offseason.