MIAMI — Miami Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich was traded Thursday to the Milwaukee Brewers for four prospects, including highly regarded outfielder Lewis Brinson.
Yelich became the fourth Marlins starter to be traded this offseason as they reduce payroll and rebuild their weak farm system under new CEO Derek Jeter. The Marlins earlier dealt away major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton, stolen base champ Dee Gordon and All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna.
In the wake of the earlier deals, Yelich said he preferred to play elsewhere this year rather than be part of a Marlins reboot.
Yelich, who had a .282 average with 18 homers and 81 RBIs last year and is a career .290 hitter, said the emotions of the Marlins’ fire sale have been crazy and exhausting.
“There was a lot of stuff this offseason that was out of the norm,” he said. “For me it’s almost more of a relief that it’s over, and get back to playing baseball and doing what I love to do. ... I’m just excited for the fresh start.”
ESPN reported that the Brewers also agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain on a five-year, $80 million contract.
Yelich will make $7 million this season in the third year of a $49.57 million, seven-year deal.
“We’re getting a player who is just now in the prime of his career, and we’re getting a player who can be a Milwaukee Brewer for the next five years,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said. “We view him as one of the bright young players in baseball.”
Miami acquired Brinson, infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.