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Shop Lorenzo Cain?

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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#21

Posted: August 15, 2019, 9:20 AM Post
Posts: 1170
Location: Washburn, WI
I would definitely be open to shopping Cain. He will be 34 next season and still has 3 years left on his contract. Regression is expected and I would prefer being able to put that money toward the rotation or pairing an all-star caliber right handed hitter like Anthony Rendon in the middle of the lineup behind Yelich.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#22

Posted: August 15, 2019, 11:22 AM Post
Posts: 41
Location: Madison
Given looming free agency for Grandal and Moustakis I would hope to trade Cain for a C, 3b, or SS better than who we have under contract or a good pitcher. Given Cain's salary that will be hard to do unless the returning player carries at least a substantial offsetting salary and is surplus at his position on the trading team. More likely Cain would have to be traded for salary relief and hopefully a prospect, in which case the immediate team value would be to use whatever salary relief to re-sign Grandal or Moustakis. But in the end the lack of a quality defensive CF on their roster or a high level CF prospect these factors would deter me from trading Cain for 2020.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#23

Posted: August 15, 2019, 11:47 AM Post
Posts: 5061
Harry Dalton said:
Given looming free agency for Grandal and Moustakis I would hope to trade Cain for a C, 3b, or SS better than who we have under contract or a good pitcher. Given Cain's salary that will be hard to do unless the returning player carries at least a substantial offsetting salary and is surplus at his position on the trading team. More likely Cain would have to be traded for salary relief and hopefully a prospect, in which case the immediate team value would be to use whatever salary relief to re-sign Grandal or Moustakis. But in the end the lack of a quality defensive CF on their roster or a high level CF prospect these factors would deter me from trading Cain for 2020.


Could Grisham be an option in center field?


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#24

Posted: August 15, 2019, 2:33 PM Post
Posts: 123
The biggest negative with a Cain trade is the message it could send to others looking to sign in Milwaukee as a free agent. His salary isn't as out of line as people may think. Being a top six paid centerfielder is probably not that out of line for a player who has averaged 4+ WAR/year over the last seven years.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#25

Posted: August 15, 2019, 2:55 PM Post
Posts: 13169
balsamlaker said:
Being a top six paid centerfielder is probably not that out of line for a player who has averaged 4+ WAR/year over the last seven years.


In a FA landscape that is now starting to pay for future performance and not past performance...yah, it isn't too good. Coming off a bad year at 33 years old is not going to be taken very nicely. Not when you have to pay $15mil+ a year for ages 34-36.

Teams are no longer paying for what players did in their prime.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#26

Posted: August 15, 2019, 4:49 PM Post
Posts: 41
Location: Madison
I'd factor Grisham as a left fielder exclusively, not a CF on a contending team without good overall defense. Ray could be a decent CF but he's had a wasted 2019 and can't be counted on offensively going into 2020.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#27

Posted: August 16, 2019, 1:44 AM Post
Posts: 1392
Harry Dalton said:
I'd factor Grisham as a left fielder exclusively, not a CF on a contending team without good overall defense. Ray could be a decent CF but he's had a wasted 2019 and can't be counted on offensively going into 2020.


If Gamel can play CF'er, I believe Grisham can as well. But certainly not as an everyday option.


I'd really just hold onto him and see if he can bounce back next year, something I fully expect him to do. I don't expect him to spend much of the year around .300/400 like he did last year, but if he can get that walk rate back to 10 pct, .285/.340 is perfectly reasonable and given his defense, very valuable.


And if he has a nice bounce back year next year and you want to trade him, then you're trading a guy with 2 years left on his deal coming off a pretty strong year. Of course nobody wants to trade someone when they're coming off a good year and you're trying to compete...but at least we'd have the option and another year of a healthy(hopefully) Ray to see if there's anything there.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#28

Posted: August 16, 2019, 2:09 AM Post
Posts: 1392
MrTPlush said:
You guys are really sadly mistaken if you think we wouldn't have to eat a big chunk of money to dump Cain. All defense, no offensive players are not highly valued. Billy Hamilton got 1/$5.5mil last offseason from a garbage team that probably signed him hoping he would miraculously figure it out at 28 years old and to put a "flashy" player out there. Now Cain is definitely better than Hamilton, but really that is the same concept Cain is this year...defense, no offense.

I also don't think any team is going to put huge stock into him being "unlucky". People have been using that excuse for Braun three years now and he has not reverted back to All Star numbers like advanced stats say he should put up if he wasn't so unlucky.

Simply imagine Cain hitting the open market this winter, what do you think he is going to get? Mind you he is coming off a year in which he put up zero offense and his only value was defense. Keep in mind he is going to be 34(!) years old. First off he is getting a one year deal. No one is giving a multi year deal to a 34 year old OF who may provide nothing on offense. So what? 1/$12mil from a team figuring the defense gives him a high floor and he may rebound a bit offensively? If he gets a two year deal it probably isn't over $8-$10mil a year. Which in my opinion is a pretty bullish prediction.

We would have to at least eat the last year of that deal just to get rid of him, likely more to expect anything useful in return. Doing that still assumes the acquiring team values him at about 2/$30mil...not to sure about that. Might as well keep him and hope he rebounds.



Billy Hamilton? Seriously? I can't even take this seriously. He's had one year with an OBP over .300, he hasn't been as good defensively this year as Cain. Cain meanwhile put up a .308/.395/.417 line last year and has been a FAR more productive player.

So you don't think teams might consider the fact that he's hit into poor luck and analytics suggest he's performed better than his slash line this year would suggest? Why even have an analytics department then if you believe these teams ignore them?

And I will simply imagine if a CF'er who has put up 22.4 WAR in the previous 4 years before struggling this year while dealing with bad luck and injuries. I would look at the extremely weak FA class(I'd probably pay attention to how he finishes out the year) and then look at how he's still performing at close to a GG level defensively and I'm thinking he's getting a bit more than you're suggesting.
People have been using that excuse for Braun three years now and he has not reverted back to All Star numbers like advanced stats say he should put up if he wasn't so unlucky.


Well, this is a poor strawman and using the old, "people say." I don't recall a lot of people saying this over a 3 year period, I remember it particularly last year , but Braun's been a productive hitter, especially since the start of last August. But again, Braun's totally irrelevant here.

Braun's clearly been on a downward trend for several years, doesn't play a premium position and has little to no defensive value. Cain has not. Again, 22.4 WAR over the previous 4 years for Cain.

I'd certainly think Josh Donaldson would be a better comp than pinch runner Billy Hamilton. Donaldson was extremely productive the previous 4 years(28.4 WAR), struggled with injuries, posted 0 Dwar and just 1.3. But even the notoriously cheap Braves gave him over 23 million this past year counting on the fact that despite being 33 years old, he'd bounce back and the one season that he dealt with injury that caused him to NOT be a productive player was the outlier, not the season he struggled. There are at least some similarities between their trajectories whereas with Hamilton...all I see is they're both black, fast and play CF. Front offices are a bit more nuanced than that.


By the way, the top FA CF'ers in this upcoming class....

36 year old Alex Gordon...34/35 Adam Jones, Jerod Dyson and the aforementioned Bill Hamilton. So yeah, I think a team looking for a CF'er would take chance on a CF'er with Cain's recent history, poor luck/minor injuries and playoff experience.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#29

Posted: August 20, 2019, 9:53 AM Post
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Not only do I think Cain may recover some value on offense next year, there's generally a "this guy is making too much money, this is really bad, get rid of him" type of analysis without the context of the roster/window/etc.

Of course I am not advocating that I'd like to just have a bunch of bad contracts, but

The substantial contracts on the books for 2021 are basically: Yelich, Christian and maybe a handful of arbitration players (plus Cain).

Your options of trading Cain are:
-Trading him for a different player that has similar contract/risk (pitcher?).
-Maybe some sort of salary dump, but that would be very hard to find.
-Eat a bad contract, get an OK prospect.

Point being, unless the Brewers have their eyes on a massive signing this offseason, I don't think it's stopping them from making any moves. Hopefully, if there is some situation where they want to bring in a pitcher for 2020 or bring back Moustakas or Grandal that Attanasio is willing to go back up to or over $130 for 2020 because they can maneuver the payroll pretty easily after that.

So I'd probably just hold on to Cain and hope he gets more luck on offense and returns to a 3+ WAR player.

I think if the Brewers salary-dumped Cain this year, the fans would say, "ahhhh, there we go...now we don't have that overpaid player so I'm happy."

I have a feeling they'd have a hard time finding much better talent or risk to slot into that average of $17 million/year saved over the next 3 years. If it's a premier player, they'd be signing up for the same risk over 3+ years. If not filling with a free agent or other trade acquisition, they just bought the Brewers ownership group a new yacht.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#30

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:23 AM Post
Posts: 13169
OnTheBlack said:
Billy Hamilton? Seriously? I can't even take this seriously. He's had one year with an OBP over .300, he hasn't been as good defensively this year as Cain. Cain meanwhile put up a .308/.395/.417 line last year and has been a FAR more productive player.

So you don't think teams might consider the fact that he's hit into poor luck and analytics suggest he's performed better than his slash line this year would suggest? Why even have an analytics department then if you believe these teams ignore them?

And I will simply imagine if a CF'er who has put up 22.4 WAR in the previous 4 years before struggling this year while dealing with bad luck and injuries. I would look at the extremely weak FA class(I'd probably pay attention to how he finishes out the year) and then look at how he's still performing at close to a GG level defensively and I'm thinking he's getting a bit more than you're suggesting.


I said Lorenzo Cain is having a Billy Hamilton esque season. All defense, zero offense...not really debatable. Cain has a 74 OPS+ this year...before this year Hamilton put up 77/66/69. It isn't all that crazy different.

And while, yes, you can mention his past stats...however once you are in your mid 30s past production isn't the greatest predictor nor is falling off a cliff surprising.

I don't know how Cain will be next year or the years after....he could definitely rebound to some degree, idk. Point is if he hit FA after the year I don't think he would command anything close to 3/$51mil we owe him. Teams don't take $51mil gambles on 34 year old rebounds. If someone really believed in a rebound I am guessing he would be valued at 2/$30mil or so, dream scenario. That is still a solid $20mil dead money. I can't imagine how he would fare better than that in a market that currently hates players of his age.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#31

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:25 AM Post
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There have been plenty of late 30s outfielders who remained productive late. Mike Cameron comes to mind. I think if Cain didn't grimace constantly and pretend to be hurt, people wouldn't be so quick to assume he must be declining due to age. You have to bring him back and hope he gets it back together.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#32

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:38 AM Post
Posts: 13169
OldSchoolSnapper said:
There have been plenty of late 30s outfielders who remained productive late. Mike Cameron comes to mind. I think if Cain didn't grimace constantly and pretend to be hurt, people wouldn't be so quick to assume he must be declining due to age. You have to bring him back and hope he gets it back together.


Oh sure, many. I mean Braun is still rocking it even with a history of being crippled with injuries. Given he has never fallen off a cliff statistically like Cain has...but thus he still hits well for 35. That being said many get into their 30s and just lose it, often.

Not saying Cain can't rebound or even that I would be shocked...but teams aren't going out and investing $51mil to find out. The only reason we are optimistic as fans is because he is stuck on our team. If you went and asked fans of other teams what they thought of Cain at 3/$51mil they would tell you to take a hike in a flurry of laughter. If Cain was on another team not a single person would be jumping to propose a trade taking on Cain and his entire contract...maybe a few people, but I think you get the point.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#33

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:47 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
OldSchoolSnapper said:
There have been plenty of late 30s outfielders who remained productive late. Mike Cameron comes to mind. I think if Cain didn't grimace constantly and pretend to be hurt, people wouldn't be so quick to assume he must be declining due to age. You have to bring him back and hope he gets it back together.


Oh sure, many. I mean Braun is still rocking it even with a history of being crippled with injuries. Given he has never fallen off a cliff statistically like Cain has...but thus he still hits well for 35. That being said many get into their 30s and just lose it, often.

Not saying Cain can't rebound or even that I would be shocked...but teams aren't going out and investing $51mil to find out. The only reason we are optimistic as fans is because he is stuck on our team. If you went and asked fans of other teams what they thought of Cain at 3/$51mil they would tell you to take a hike in a flurry of laughter. If Cain was on another team not a single person would be jumping to propose a trade taking on Cain and his entire contract...maybe a few people, but I think you get the point.


He can make 3/$51 for the Brewers and be a 1.5-2 WAR player by defense alone and the Brewers can still win the division, playoffs, World Series, etc.

I don't think it is an end-of-the-world imperative to shed a guy because he may be overpaid.

Christian Yelich is making an average of about $10 million over the life of his Brewers deal and he's a 7+ WAR player. These things even out and the good teams have more on the Yelich side of things than the Cain side...but they have guys on the Cain side.

If his contract could be erased, would I do it? I guess. But I don't know if it's going to inhibit the Brewers from making most of the moves that one would expect over the next few years and there's still upside.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#34

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:52 AM Post
Posts: 13169
bill hAll Star said:
He can make 3/$51 for the Brewers and be a 1.5-2 WAR player by defense alone and the Brewers can still win the division, playoffs, World Series, etc.


Sure, as long as he is providing defense he isn't a horrid player to have.

Problem is we also have a player like that at SS and potentially C again if Grandal leaves. I think it is a problem when you have 3+ "well he has good defense at least" players. That's what really makes an offense crap real quick.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#35

Posted: August 20, 2019, 10:58 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
bill hAll Star said:
He can make 3/$51 for the Brewers and be a 1.5-2 WAR player by defense alone and the Brewers can still win the division, playoffs, World Series, etc.


Sure, as long as he is providing defense he isn't a horrid player to have.

Problem is we also have a player like that at SS and potentially C again if Grandal leaves. I think it is a problem when you have 3+ "well he has good defense at least" players. That's what really makes an offense crap real quick.


I don't think trading/clearing Cain is going to solve that.

If you clear Cain out...where do you get the 2 WAR guy to replace Cain and maintain depth if Braun/Grisham/Yelich miss any time? That'll cost money.

To get a player of very good caliber, you'll have to spend big and likely for several years (like Cain!).

If Jose Iglesias scratches that itch, having Lorenzo Cain is probably not going to get in the way of signing him. Maybe they'd luck out on another year of Grandal to a one-year deal but once again, Cain doesn't have a ton to do with the other position player to fill in.


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Online  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#36

Posted: August 20, 2019, 11:19 AM Post
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Believe it or not, the Brewers have come out way way ahead on the first two years of the contract; for $29M we got 7.5 to 8.8 WAR, depending on whose numbers you believe. Cain could never play another game and we'd do ok on the deal. Of course a team trading for him doesn't care about that.

From a pure value point of view going forward, and for a team that didn't get the benefit of the first two years, the 3/$51M remaining assumes he's five or six wins above average the next three years, and that's not a bad guess; 2.5, 2.0, 1.5 would be a plausible curve. Before this season, Fangraphs projected him at 3.2 next year and 2.6 the year after that, which would more than do it, but presumably his season this year puts his stock lower. Still, where there's a lot of risk, there's a pretty good chance that there's still some surplus value in that contract. It's likely that Cain is worth more to the Brewers than to a potential trade partner, though.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#37

Posted: August 20, 2019, 11:45 AM Post
Posts: 13169
Well going by WAR money values Mike Trout should be paid $65mil or so and Heran Perez was worth almost $30mil the last three years.

Yah, that sounds kinda silly doesn't it? WAR money values just seem like a way to rationalize an overpaid veteran.


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Online  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#38

Posted: August 20, 2019, 12:48 PM Post
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There's plenty of evidence that teams approach player valuation with something similar to a WAR and $/win calculation. (At least those with analytic frames, but that seems like almost all teams these days.) You might not buy it or understand it, but it really doesn't matter...it's how team management thinks.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#39

Posted: August 20, 2019, 12:50 PM Post
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MrTPlush said:
Well going by WAR money values Mike Trout should be paid $65mil or so and Heran Perez was worth almost $30mil the last three years.

Yah, that sounds kinda silly doesn't it? WAR money values just seem like a way to rationalize an overpaid veteran.


Right, if we went by these WAR values everyone would have a $200+ million payroll.

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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Offline  Re: Shop Lorenzo Cain?
#40

Posted: August 20, 2019, 12:56 PM Post
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SoCalBrewfan said:
There's plenty of evidence that teams approach player valuation with something similar to a WAR and $/win calculation. (At least those with analytic frames, but that seems like almost all teams these days.) You might not buy it or understand it, but it really doesn't matter...it's how team management thinks.


I'm sure teams do use some sort of WAR and $/win calculation. It's pretty obvious that they don't use the junk $8 million per 1 WAR that fangraphs uses though.

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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