Brewers' moves for Cain, Yelich shows they're ready to contend in 2018

 Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

 Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY

After finishing last season one game short of making the playoffs, the Milwaukee Brewers are destined to make sure last YEAR wasn't a fluke. The Brewers made not one, but two big time moves in their outfield: trading for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich and signing former Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain for 5 years/$80M. But, what does all this mean for the Brew Crew? Here are some quick thoughts about their moves.

 

The Brewers are ready to contend now.

By trading their top prospect, Lewis Brinson to acquire Yelich, the Brewers want to contend right now. They finished the season at 86-76, losing an early-season division lead to the back-to-back N.L. Central champion Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs and the always talented St. Louis Cardinals in the mix, the Brewers have as good a chance as those two teams to capture the division, barring injurys.

One piece away

If the Brewers were to fail to make the playoffs in 2018, it would be because of their lack of quality arms in the rotation. Chase Anderson was their only bright spot in the rotation last season. He finished the year at 12-4, posted a 2.74 ERA, a WHIP of 1.09 and sat down 133 batters. But as we know, you can’t rely on one guy every five days. Zach Davies certainly has the potential to be a 2nd, 3rd or 4th guy in the rotation; he's only 24 years old but he’ll need a breakout 2018 season to turn some heads.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Brewers are said to be shopping outfielders Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips for a starting pitcher. They could trade those guys or they could sign a pitcher such as Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn but by acquiring Yelich and Cain, those two guys combine for $123.5 million alone.
 

Potential lineup

If things stay in place, here’s how I see the Brewers opening day lineup shaping out

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Travis Shaw, 3B
5. Eric Thames, 1B
6. Manny Pina, C
7. Orlando Arcia, SS
8. Eric Sogard, 2B
9. Chase Anderson, P