Andy Martino from SNY mentioned Brewers Center Fielder Lorenzo Cain as a potential trade target (thanks Mike Conte for making me aware of the idea). It’s an interesting name as Cain is getting older and still has a 2 year/35 mil dollar left on his contract.
The contract does mean the Mets not needing to give up a lot in return. The Brewers also should give the Mets some cash, if they can get something off value and offset the contract. According to Baseball Trade Values, Cain is worth negative 17.70. For reference Familia and Betances together are worth 16.50. Obviously the Brewers won’t make that trade, but it does show how Cain is valued and it shouldn’t cost a ton.
Cain could still be valuable to a team like the Mets. His main attraction is his ability to play center field at a high level. Even with his age, Cain has been one of the better center fielders according to OAA. Between 2017 and 2019 he racked up a stunning 53 OAA in center field. In 2019, he still piled up 14 OAA. This is still in the top of the league.
So Cain can still play defense and is a right handed batter. Yes his hitting has diminished as he hit just .260/.325/.372 over 148 games in 2019. However it was his only season with a OPS under 800 since 2016.
In 2019 he has some solid hard hit rates and walk and strikeout rates. He lacked power but mostly was an above average hitter amongst other statcast numbers.
Cain is an interesting case for me. His age, contract, and lack of power in 2019 is worrisome. However, you can’t make a trade without the Brewers eating a large amount of the contract or get ride of a contract of our own. He can still play very strong center field, a need the Mets should improve. Also works that Cain is a right handed batter. At this point the question is…… can Cain be a better player than JBJ for the next two years? Hard question to answer.
With that being said, giving the Brewers a call about Cain is never a bad thing. It would be an interesting and difficult constructed deal for both teams to make sense. Maybe add some prospects in the deal?
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