By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published Jan 25, 2018 at 6:01 PM

A few days ahead of its annual Brewers On Deck fan event, Milwaukee finally made a big offseason splash – not in free agency, but via trade.

The Brewers acquired outfielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins in exchange for outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, infielder Isan Diaz and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, a high-upside haul of young prospects. The trade announcement was made Thursday by general manager David Stearns.

"We are pleased to be able to add a young, talented player like Christian to our organization," Stearns said in a statement. "In a relatively brief time, Christian has emerged as one of the most skilled players in the league on both sides of the ball. It is rare when an organization gets a chance to acquire a player with Christian’s talents at this stage in his career, and we are excited to add him to our team.

"Parting with the type of talent we traded is never an easy decision, and we wish Lewis, Monte, Isan and Jordan nothing but the best with the Marlins."

Yelich, who in 2015 signed a seven-year contract with Miami, which runs through 2021, has four seasons and $44.5 million guaranteed left. The deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022; he’ll make $7 million this year. The 26-year-old is a career .290 hitter with 59 home runs, 293 RBI and 72 stolen bases in 643 games with the Marlins.

Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw sure seemed to approve of the trade.

In 2017, Yelich batted .282 with 18 homers, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases in a career-high 156 games. He ranked among the National League leaders in runs (tied-7th, 100), at-bats (8th, 602), hits (9th, 170), doubles (9th , 36) and walks (10th, 80). Yelich led Major League center fielders last season in fielding percentage (.997), ranking second in starts (155) and fourth in total chances (372) as he committed just a single error.

Last year marked his first full season as a center fielder after winning a Gold Glove Award in left field in 2014 and being named a Gold Glove finalist in both 2015 and 2016. The 2016 Silver Slugger Award winner was selected by Miami in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Westlake (CA) High School.

The Brewers’ price for Yelich was steep. Brinson was the organization’s top-ranked minor-league prospect, Diaz was ranked sixth and Harrison was No. 14, plus the promising Yamamoto. After an unexpectedly successful 2017 season, and with a surplus of talented center fielders, Stearns may have be putting recently rebuilding Milwaukee on an accelerated timeline for contention.

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.