MIAMI — Miami Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich was traded Thursday to the Milwaukee Brewers for four prospects, including highly regarded outfielder Lewis Brinson.
Yelich, 26, became the fourth starter traded by the Marlins as they reduce payroll and rebuild their weak farm system under new CEO Derek Jeter. The Marlins earlier dealt away major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton, stolen base champ Dee Gordon and All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna.
In the wake of the earlier deals, Yelich had said he preferred to play elsewhere this year rather than be part of a Marlins rebuilding effort. He’ll make $7 million this season in the third year of a $49.57 million, seven-year contract.
Yelich batted .282 with 18 homers and 81 RBIs last year.
Miami also acquired infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.
The 23-year-old Brinson, who is a native of Fort Lauderdale, batted .106 in 47 at-bats with the Brewers as a rookie last year but is rated as their top prospect.
Miami hasn’t had a winning season since 2009 and went 77-85 last year. Season-ticket holders have complained about the direction of the franchise, but Jeter has said payroll and stronger farm system is the only path to sustained success.
The Marlins might not be done dealing this winter. Catcher J.T. Realmuto, one of their few remaining established players, has requested a trade.
Yelich is owed $44.5 million as part of a seven-year contract that guaranteed him $49.57 million over seven years. He gets $7 million this season, $9.75 million next year, $12.5 million in 2020 and $14 million in 2021. His contract includes a $15 million club option for 2022 with a $1.25 million buyout. Looking ahead to a possible trade from Florida, which does not have an income tax, his contract includes a tax equalization provision.