The hot stove, long thought permanently cold, has preheated. Lorenzo Cain has signed a 5-year, $80M deal with the Brewers.
Lorenzo Cain has agreed on a 5-year, $80M deal with the #Brewers, source says. It’s the biggest free agent contract of the offseason. The deal includes no-trade protection and significant award bonuses. Milwaukee building a super outfield with addition of Yelich and Cain.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 26, 2018
Cain has passed his physical and is expected to be introduced by the Brewers tomorrow.
Cain receiving $80M and five-years is slightly above the consensus expectations. FanGraphs crowdsource and Dave Cameron expected Cain to receive 4/$73M and 4/$68M respectively. Meanwhile, MLB Trade Rumors predicted 4/$70M for Cain.
Cain worth ~$100M on a five year deal, so $80M is good if you buy the aging curve and health. pic.twitter.com/VVppp8ancv— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) January 26, 2018
This authors take is that this deal is...okay for the Brewers. The low AAV ($16M) is doable, but the five years seem a little heavy given where Cain is at on the aging curve and his health. However the winner of the Cain bidding was likely to be the suitor that was willing to go an extra year, and that appears to be the Brewers.
The Royals will receive a compensation pick after the first round since they gave a Qualifying Offer to Cain this winter and he declined it, and the deal is worth over $50 million.
Lorenzo Cain is a future Royal Hall of Famer, and will undoubtedly be underappreciated ten years from now. From 2014-2015, Cain was the fifth best position player in baseball by WAR, and from 2013-2017 was the 22nd best player.