Within minutes after the details of the Brewers' trade for Christian Yelich began ricocheting around the baseball industry last January, text messages of astonishment quickly followed, with executives expressing surprise at what they felt was the one-sided nature of the deal. At the time, Yelich was viewed as an excellent young player, and through a team-friendly contract signed early in his major league career, he would be under club control for another five years.
Next week, Yelich is likely to be awarded the National League MVP award for his work in his first season with Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Lewis Brinson -- a primary piece for the Marlins in the trade -- is coming off a year in which he compiled 11 homers, 17 walks and 120 strikeouts, while batting .199. Brinson turns 25 next year. "He looks like he's just a guy," said one rival GM, using an industry phrase for mediocrity.
If the Marlins view the deal as much of a disaster as other teams do -- and even if the Miami front office doesn't -- evaluators with other teams and some agents wonder if that trade will serve as a drag on the catching market during this offseason.