Saturday marked the end of a run for World Series champion Lorenzo Cain. He was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers in the midst of his dreadful 2022 campaign. But it was done in good faith. On the day he was DFA’d, Cain achieved 10 years of MLB service time, meaning he’ll get a fully vested pension upon retirement.
But Cain’s career isn’t over. The Brewers just could no longer afford his .179 average and .465 OPS as a main figure in the lineup. He’s been vastly out-performed by the team’s four other outfielders, too, so something had to give.
Nonetheless, Cain could still be a valuable supporting cast member on a contender. That’s where the Los Angeles Dodgers could come in to give him another chance.
At the moment, the Dodgers are experiencing serious woes with their outfield and overall depth. Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux getting as many reps as they’ve been in left field hasn’t been working out defensively, while the offensive production from Cody Bellinger has been far from enough.
Sure, it sounds counterintuitive to bring in a guy like Cain who’s been struggling more than any of the aforementioned players, but Cain’s been a plus defender in the outfield for his entire career. And maybe sandwiching him in between some of the game’s best hitters will give him an opportunity to see more pitches and get back on track.
The only problem here is that he hasn’t played left field since 2012. This would mean we’re looking at a situation where he either displaces Bellinger at times or plays some right field to get Mookie Betts off his feet here and there.
Is former Brewers OF Lorenzo Cain worth a look for the Dodgers?
At the very least, picking up Cain would vastly improve the Dodgers’ bench, since Hanser Alberto and Eddy Alvarez have contributed almost next to nothing production-wise. And since the rest of the roster is suffering from an offensive slump, it might be time to do something.
Cain, despite being 36 years old, is still a very good athlete. Per his statcast metrics, he’s well above average in Outs Above Average (85th percentile), Sprint Speed (78th percentile) and Outfielder Jump (78th percentile).
In 2022, despite a negative overall bWAR, he’s had a positive dWAR. And who knows, maybe he can play some left field while the Dodgers offer some more favorable defensive opportunities to both Lux and Taylor, which will likely result in more offensive improvement.
This is about as true of a toss-up as it gets, but the Dodgers picking up Cain would undoubtedly help the roster if manager Dave Roberts can figure out where he might fit into the puzzle and how it might benefit other players.