Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday before the team’s game against the Cincinnati Reds on the day he reached 10 years of MLB service.
What does designated for assignment mean and why is that milestone significant for the veteran centerfielder?
Here’s what you should know.
What does designated for assignment mean?
According to Major League Baseball, a player is removed from the 40-man roster when the player’s contract is designated for assignment.
The player can be traded or be completely waived within seven days of the DFA.
If the player is claimed by another team, he can be optioned to the minor leagues or assigned to their 26-man roster. A player could reject the minor-league assignment and enter free agency based on service time, for example.
What’s next for Cain?
He could retire, which is something he already said was a strong possibility after the season, or another team could sign him after he clears waivers. Cain told reporters in Cincinnati he would take a couple days to decide what his plans will be.
Why did the Brewers designate Cain for assignment?
Cain said “it was time” and that the decision was mutual as he acknowledged he wasn’t producing to his standards. Teams designate players to open a spot on their 40-man roster and usually add a new player.
The Brewers did just that with the addition of outfielder Jonathan Davis from Class AAA Nashville.
Davis is 30 years old and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 in the 15th round. He has spent most of his career in the minors but made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Blue Jays.
He was claimed off waivers by the Yankees during the 2021 season.
This was his first season in the Brewers organization.
With the Nashville Sounds, he was batting .297, .408 OBP, .426 OPS, with 44 hits, three home runs, 18 RBI in 148 at-bats across 38 games.
He has played 134 total games in the majors with a .171 average, .272. OBP and .520 OPS.
Did MLB’s 10-year pension rule have something to do with Cain being designated for assignment today?
Yes. The Brewers waited until Saturday to DFA Cain because he reached 10 years of service.
When a player reaches that milestone, he becomes fully vested in the MLB Players Association pension. It guarantees a minimum of $68,000 a year for retired players and up to $220,000 if they wait until they’re 62.
How old is Cain?
Cain is 36 years old.
What was Cain’s contract?
This was the final year of the contract Cain signed before the 2018 season.
He signed a five-year deal worth $80 million, the largest the club had extended to a player. The Brewers signed Cain on the same day the team made the huge trade for Christian Yelich.
What were Cain’s stats with the Brewers in 2022?
In 145 at-bats in 2022, Cain had a .179 average, .231 OBP and .465 OPS. He had 26 hits, one home run, nine RBI and two SB.
What are Cain’s career stats?
For his career, he has hit .283 with a .343 OBP and .750 OPS. He has 1,220 hits, 87 home runs, 454 RBI and 190 SB.
In 2018, the year in which he finished seventh in NL MVP voting, he beat .308, .395 and .812 and played in 141 games. He played in 148 games the following year, but in 2020, after five games he opted out the rest of the season during the pandemic-shortened year.
Cain returned in 2021 but injured plagued him as he only played in 78 games and beaten .257, .329 and .730.
Cain started his career with the Brewers
The Brewers drafted Cain in 2004 out of Tallahassee Community College. He made his major-league debut in 2010 and was traded to the Kansas City Royals that December. He won a World Series with the Royals in 2015.
Cain won a Gold Glove with the Brewers
Cain for years was known as one of the best outfielders in the game and his home-run stealing grabs were must-see. He was finally rewarded with a Gold Glove in 2019.
Here is one of the most memorable catches (the 2019 season opener against the Cardinals to take away a home run in the ninth inning that ended the game).
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