Lorenzo Cain, Brewers Agree to 5-Year, $80 Million Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain can't get to a ball that went for a single by Cleveland Indians' Yandy Diaz during the third inning of a baseball game in Cleveland, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
Phil Long/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers bolstered their lineup, fielding and speed on the basepaths in one move by signing center fielder Lorenzo Cain, the team announced Friday. 

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the news on Thursday. The deal is for five years and $80 million, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The move comes on the same day Milwaukee also acquired outfielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins

Cain played 43 games in 2010 for the Brewers and has spent the rest of his MLB career on the Kansas City Royals to this point. He slashed .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI and 26 stolen bases during the 2017 season and was a bright spot for Kansas City even though it missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.

The performance marked the third time in his career he hit at least .300, his sixth straight season with double-digit steals and his third time with more than 25 steals.

Cain is more than an offensive force, as he's one of the better defensive outfielders in the league. He played solely center field in 2017 but has experience at each corner position as well if needed for his new team.

He is responsible for 92 total defensive runs saved above average in his career, per FanGraphs, and saved a head-turning 23 in 2013 and 22 in 2014 alone.

The 2015 All-Star is also a proven postseason performer who won the 2014 American League Championship Series MVP and a World Series title in 2015. Cain has slashed .295/.376/.377 with 19 RBI and eight steals in 31 playoff games. 

While he will turn 32 years old in April, last year's performance indicates his prime is not in his rearview mirror. Between his postseason experience and the way he can impact the game on the bases and with his bat and glove, Cain should serve as a veteran leader and critical part in Milwaukee's lineup as it strives to reach the playoffs in 2018.