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If Bradley can be traded … why not Yelich too?


I know there are many on this board that believe Yelich will somehow bounce back from his incredibly bad seasons & return to something resembling his MVP level of 2018 & 2019. I don’t share that enthusiasm. :)

 

I would be DELIGHTED if somehow Stearns could trade Yelich away in a similar deal where his entire salary is covered by his new team - ideally an AL team.

 

While that may not be reasonable or likely - one can dream.

 

I would love to see the Brewers replace Yelich with one of the big free agent bats - but I’m aware neither scenario is likely.

 

I would never have thought it possible for Bradley’s terrible contract to vanish - even though it costs the Brewers a few mid-level prospects.

 

I’d gladly send a few more similar prospects to any team that would take Yelich & his worse contract. A fresh start may be what he needs & it would allow Milwaukee to spend that $26M (per season for the next 8 years) on one or more “good” bats to help them take advantage of their World Series window in the next 2-3 years.

 

Again, I’m sure there are MANY of you who disagree & will suggest that this is a terrible idea. I fear Yelich’s best days are in the rear view & his contract will be untradable … which will prevent Milwaukee from competing for a championship.

 

For those who want to attack my view - let’s visit this topic a year or two down the road.

 

I surely hope I’m wrong & would be THRILLED if Yelich has a great 2022 season - but nothing I’ve seen in the last two years gives me any reason to believe that is likely.

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I was in favor of trading him last off-season. I was of the belief that I would have dumped him to anyone willing to pay his salary going forward as I thought he was just too big of a risk. I'm assuming now we would have to include prospects but I would still think hard about doing it.

Whether his problems are physical (knee, back), mental, or he was being signaled the pitches I just don't see any kind of meaningful rebound.

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Last off-season I NOT jokingly suggested that the Brewer would be wise to give Hader to any team willing to take the Yelich contract. Even with the great year Hader had, right now that is looking like it would have been a great deal for Milwaukee.

 

I've worked through the math and think baseballtradevalue's -104.6 million dollar estimate on Yelich is a good number. Steamer projects him for 3 WAR in 2022, so if you take that and do the 0.5 WAR subtraction for following years, he winds up at -94. I'd guess he's more around 2.5 WAR in 2022, the surplus value comes out to -121 million. So what I think would be a "realistic" range is -94 to -121 and the baseballtradevalue's number is right in that range.

 

So let's start adding up prospect values using the baseballtradevalue's site-

Mitchell = 22.2

Turang = 18.2

Frelick = 16.3

OK, we are only up to 56.7, we need to get to 104.6 to offset the Yelich contract.

Quero = 9.3

Chourio = 8.5

Perez = 8.3

Black = 6.8

Garcia = 6.6

Small = 6.6

Believe it or not, we are not there yet.

 

I could continue on, but this is getting too depressing. Let's just say that dumping Bradley's 17.5 million is not even in the same universe as trying to dump a 188.5 million dollar bad contract.

 

After this Yelich deal, I can honestly say if I was a small market GM I would never, ever, ever, ever consider giving out a 100 million dollar contract to any player, and that would probably include Mike Trout.

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There's just a huge, almost vast gulf between trading Bradley's contract, and trading the contract owed to Yelich. I won't say never, I mean, virtually anything is possible. But if you consider the amount of trade capital the Brewers would have to include to entice someone to take that contract on, there's almost no way it makes sense to shed the kind of prospects we'd have to get rid of instead of just letting him play it out and hope against hope that we get SOME kind of production out of him.

 

IF, .... he has a big big big rebound year in 2022, this scenario might become slightly more plausible, but that's a big if.

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About the only hope I see of him getting traded this off-season is if Stearns can find an owner that is so desperate to trade somebody simply because he is so sick of watching that player play on a bad contract.

 

Eric Hosmer could be a pretty good example. Yelich still has 188.5 million in guaranteed money left, Hosmer is down to 59 million which gives the Brewers motivation to make a deal right there. So the Brewers would have to include about 50 million in prospect surplus value to even it up. It could see something like Hosmer for Yelich, Ashby, Frelick and Gray making sense value-wise, but I still could never see the Padres being willing to take on the additional 129.5 million difference between the two contracts.

 

The Brewers are just stuck hoping that Yelich bounces back to a 3.5 WAR player in 2022 and then has a "normal" decline due to age. It would still be a bad contract but it still wouldn't be that bad to live with for the first 4 years and certainly keeps the deal out of Pujols complete disaster territory.

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There's just a huge, almost vast gulf between trading Bradley's contract, and trading the contract owed to Yelich. I won't say never, I mean, virtually anything is possible. But if you consider the amount of trade capital the Brewers would have to include to entice someone to take that contract on, there's almost no way it makes sense to shed the kind of prospects we'd have to get rid of instead of just letting him play it out and hope against hope that we get SOME kind of production out of him.

 

IF, .... he has a big big big rebound year in 2022, this scenario might become slightly more plausible, but that's a big if.

 

Not only everything that was mentioned here, but Yelich has a full no-trade clause in his contract. So the list of teams he would be even willing to be traded to is likely very small. All this means is that he is likely to be a Brewer fir the full term of the extension so let's hope he can turn things around.

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About the only hope I see of him getting traded this off-season is if Stearns can find an owner that is so desperate to trade somebody simply because he is so sick of watching that player play on a bad contract.

 

Eric Hosmer could be a pretty good example. Yelich still has 188.5 million in guaranteed money left, Hosmer is down to 59 million which gives the Brewers motivation to make a deal right there. So the Brewers would have to include about 50 million in prospect surplus value to even it up. It could see something like Hosmer for Yelich, Ashby, Frelick and Gray making sense value-wise, but I still could never see the Padres being willing to take on the additional 129.5 million difference between the two contracts.

 

The Brewers are just stuck hoping that Yelich bounces back to a 3.5 WAR player in 2022 and then has a "normal" decline due to age. It would still be a bad contract but it still wouldn't be that bad to live with for the first 4 years and certainly keeps the deal out of Pujols complete disaster territory.

 

I think the Padres would include two players in that deal in Myers and Hosmer. The Padres were willing to take on Bradley for Myers so I would think they would take on Yelich if the Brewers take on both Hosmer and Myers. This would give the Padres financial flexibility for this season and would only impact them later so I don't believe the Brewers would have to add prospects to the deal. If my math is right it is about $80m in extra salary in total.

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We are far from the point where we should be desperate to unload Yelich's contract, especially considering the kind of contracts that are being handed out this offseason (which show where the free agent market is headed, even before possible changes to the CBA). Yelich being so-so in 2020-21 (not a large sample size) does not negate the kind of upside that he has.

 

He's basically only costing us $22 million per year. That is not a lot in today's market.

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We are far from the point where we should be desperate to unload Yelich's contract, especially considering the kind of contracts that are being handed out this offseason (which show where the free agent market is headed, even before possible changes to the CBA). Yelich being so-so in 2020-21 (not a large sample size) does not negate the kind of upside that he has.

 

He's basically only costing us $22 million per year. That is not a lot in today's market.

I'm not at all certain this is where the FA market is headed. Possible yes, but I almost think it was too coincidental with the expiration of the CBA that these contracts were bloated to make the owners look good.

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We are far from the point where we should be desperate to unload Yelich's contract, especially considering the kind of contracts that are being handed out this offseason (which show where the free agent market is headed, even before possible changes to the CBA). Yelich being so-so in 2020-21 (not a large sample size) does not negate the kind of upside that he has.

 

He's basically only costing us $22 million per year. That is not a lot in today's market.

I'm not at all certain this is where the FA market is headed. Possible yes, but I almost think it was too coincidental with the expiration of the CBA that these contracts were bloated to make the owners look good.

 

Owners sign these big contract players for their own teams sake only. I don’t think they care how it makes them look across the league with the PA when the lockout was imminent anyway. There is no leverage to be gained by signing FAs to big and bad contracts early.

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You could maaayyybee talk Detroit into a deal. I still believe that Yelich must have not recovered from his knee and then back injuries. Now, if you think that those 2 injuries have caused enough damage to his body that he won't recover from completely and not even be the player he was in Miami then I see your point. I don't think he'd done yet and quite frankly, the organization needs him to not be done. I can't even find a player to compare with who's fallen off so drastically at the same age. Something isn't right and hopefully it's fixable. Even if he's never MVP again, if he can be just an above average bat, the contract isn't bad. I personally would hate to move on from him and then watch him go back to putting up MVP numbers.

 

The JBJ and Yelich situations are too much apples to oranges. I get what you're saying and if you think he's done, I understand the reasoning. I do believe somebody would take the contract I just don't think at the end of the day, even with whatever moves they make after it would necessarily result in an improvement for the future.

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What are the odds Yelich starts to put up MVP numbers again vs he stays just like he was in 2021?

 

In order to get out from under that massive crippling contract, I'd be willing to roll the dice and think that he is going to be more like 2021 Yelich going forward.

 

If we dumped him onto someone else, and he does in fact put up those MVP numbers again, I'd be fine with it, but probably because I don't have confidence in him returning to his MVP form.

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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What are the odds Yelich starts to put up MVP numbers again vs he stays just like he was in 2021?

 

In order to get out from under that massive crippling contract, I'd be willing to roll the dice and think that he is going to be more like 2021 Yelich going forward.

 

If we dumped him onto someone else, and he does in fact put up those MVP numbers again, I'd be fine with it, but probably because I don't have confidence in him returning to his MVP form.

 

I think the point above, though, was that the team would have to part with several of those beloved high-end prospects in order to coax a team into taking on Yelich's deal if the current iteration of Yelich is what he now is. If you are talking about having to give up several of the team's top 10 prospects or young, cost-controlled players in order to jettison that deal, it changes the equation significantly.

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What are the odds Yelich starts to put up MVP numbers again vs he stays just like he was in 2021?

 

In order to get out from under that massive crippling contract, I'd be willing to roll the dice and think that he is going to be more like 2021 Yelich going forward.

 

If we dumped him onto someone else, and he does in fact put up those MVP numbers again, I'd be fine with it, but probably because I don't have confidence in him returning to his MVP form.

 

I mean mid 30s Votto seemed like he was on an obvious decline and put up a mid .900s OPS again...so probably more likely than some want to give Yelich credit for. Votto hasn't been the only guy to rebound in later years.

 

Of course I don't really have any confidence of that happening and would consider trading him. I don't think I would give up major prospects to do it though. I mean, what is the point of saving the money? So we can go spend it on another disappointing older player? Extend our own guys and have them disappoint? I just can't fathom giving up cheap/controllable talent just to find another poor way to spend money. Good chance you are then paying Yelich some money (not all), spending that money in FA on garbage, all while giving up prospects too. Might as well pray on that young talent to save money to spend.

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Yeah, I have no interest in dumping our entire farm to trade him either.

 

I'd rather hang onto him and hope and pray he can help the team in some way during his contract.

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS
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We are far from the point where we should be desperate to unload Yelich's contract, especially considering the kind of contracts that are being handed out this offseason (which show where the free agent market is headed, even before possible changes to the CBA). Yelich being so-so in 2020-21 (not a large sample size) does not negate the kind of upside that he has.

 

He's basically only costing us $22 million per year. That is not a lot in today's market.

I'm not at all certain this is where the FA market is headed. Possible yes, but I almost think it was too coincidental with the expiration of the CBA that these contracts were bloated to make the owners look good.

 

Owners sign these big contract players for their own teams sake only. I don’t think they care how it makes them look across the league with the PA when the lockout was imminent anyway. There is no leverage to be gained by signing FAs to big and bad contracts early.

I wouldn't be so sure especially with Manfred citing a record free agency period with nearly $2 billion in contracts doled out as proof of the league's commitment to the players. It's a strong class but I'm not sure it justifies the big leap in the money spent if there wasn't some hidden agenda in there someplace. Per information I've compiled over the years, the amounts spent per WAR in recent seasons compared to this one (thus far).

 

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Hitters $4.37 $5.23 $3.93 $3.95 $4.08 $3.86 $5.52

SP $5.92 $5.63 $5.41 $5.11 $5.54 $5.77 $7.25

RP $7.79 $7.42 $7.68 $6.46 $7.26 $4.66 $8.27

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Didn't Yelich have excellent exit velocity on his hits last year? The problem was they were just hit into the ground. So if he can tweak the launch angle even a little bit and get 5/5 more singles/doubles, he would have been .273/.383/.405 using last years base stats. Not anything to write home about, but not a black hole that is only looking for walks.
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What's the big deal with wanting to trade Yelich anyways?

 

Unless everyone associated with the Brewers Baseball Ops Department are morons, I'm sure they considered the chance Yelich underperformed his extension as well as whether or not the guarantee to Yelich would prevent them from making other moves in the future. If either of those areas were an uncomfortable concern, they would not have offered the extension in the first place.

 

Second, there are over 40 players making in excess of 20 million dollars per year, and it is inevitable that more and more players will reach that plateau in the coming years. There is an inverse relationship as salaries rise every year across the league, Yelich's deal is less noteworthy. Thus the notion of peddling a handful of the next generation of Brewers players now in order to move a single contract is a panic move that doesn't have much basis in reality.

 

I think a lot of these comments like these are from fans looking at the AAV and wishing they could have a permutation of different players adding up the same AAV, however these things don't operate in a vacuum. It is fact that it is expensive for a team to retain its own talent, but the only other alternative is to "shuffle the deck" every 3-4 years while trying to stay in a competitive window.

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What's the big deal with wanting to trade Yelich anyways?

 

Unless everyone associated with the Brewers Baseball Ops Department are morons, I'm sure they considered the chance Yelich underperformed his extension as well as whether or not the guarantee to Yelich would prevent them from making other moves in the future. If either of those areas were an uncomfortable concern, they would not have offered the extension in the first place.

 

Second, there are over 40 players making in excess of 20 million dollars per year, and it is inevitable that more and more players will reach that plateau in the coming years. There is an inverse relationship as salaries rise every year across the league, Yelich's deal is less noteworthy. Thus the notion of peddling a handful of the next generation of Brewers players now in order to move a single contract is a panic move that doesn't have much basis in reality.

 

I think a lot of these comments like these are from fans looking at the AAV and wishing they could have a permutation of different players adding up the same AAV, however these things don't operate in a vacuum. It is fact that it is expensive for a team to retain its own talent, but the only other alternative is to "shuffle the deck" every 3-4 years while trying to stay in a competitive window.

 

Agree with much of this. Yelich was quite literally the 2nd best bat in the game for 2 years running behind Trout and probably falls into the top 3-4 expanding to 2017. Between injuries and world events, I'm willing to take a shot, even if it seems remote that he can get back there.

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Even if one thinks the odds of Yelich returning to something resembling his Marlins level of production (120 OPS+ | 3.5 WAR per 130 games) are only like five to ten percent, that is still exponentially higher than the odds of him getting traded, which are as close to zero as it gets.

 

I know which one I'll be hoping for.

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Can anyone think of a comparable situation to Yelich? Meaning a massive extension coming off what should have been back-to-back MVP seasons only to completely forget how to hit? For the life of me I cannot ever recall seeing something so dramatic. (FWIW, I don’t think a broken kneecap should have this big of an impact nor do I think 2021 should be attributed to COVID).

 

I mean this is like Giannis all off a sudden regressing into Dan Gadzuric

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