The cost-cutting continues for the Miami Marlins.
Keeping in line with his desire to – significantly – cut the team’s payroll and strengthen the club’s farm system, Derek Jeter, legendary Yankees shortstop turned Marlins CEO, okayed a trade Thursday that sent centerfielder Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for four minor league prospects.
Marlins general manager Michael Hill completed the latest deal, netting highly regarded outfielder Lewis Brinson, infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.
Brinson, Diaz and Harrison were rated among the Brewers’ top 10 prospects and will instantly upgrade Miami’s dwindling farm system.
Yelich hit .282 with 18 home runs and 81 RBIs last year for Miami. A career .290 hitter, the 26-year-old Yelich was considered one of the Marlins’ up-and-coming players but had expressed his lack of desire to be a part of Jeter’s rebuilding plan.
Miami fans will barely recognize the team that trots on to the field in 2018, with the club already dealing 2017 MLB home run king Giancarlo Stanton (New York Yankees); stolen base leader Dee Gordon (Seattle Mariners), and All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna (St. Louis Cardinals).
Yelich is the latest, but reports have surfaced that catcher J.T. Realmuto, one of the Marlins’ few remaining stabled major league players on the roster, has requested a trade and could be on the move next.
Moving Yelich sheds $7 million in salary he was due to make in 2018 as a part of the $49.57 million, seven-year deal he signed three years ago.
For the 23-year-old Brinson, the trade brings him back home. A Fort Lauderdale native and Coral Springs High alum, Brinson batted .106 in 47 at-bats with the Brewers as a rookie last year but was rated as their top prospect.
He’ll likely compete for a roster spot with Miami this spring, while the other three prospects likely will begin this season at Double-A, Hill confirmed.