MLB Rumors: 3 Christian Yelich trade destinations if Brewers make him available

If the Milwaukee Brewers decide to trade Christian Yelich, here are a few senisible landing spots.

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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A surprise name has popped up in the MLB rumor mill. That name is Christian Yelich, the Milwaukee Brewers' former MVP in left field. At 32 years old, Yelich has an accomplished résumé and a lucrative long-term contract that runs through at least the 2028 season. He also has a full no-trade clause, a dangerous mutual option in 2029, and significant deferred money set aside for 2031-42.

One would expect Yelich to stick around Milwaukee with those contractual particulars, but in a recent appearance on B/R Live, insider Jon Heyman revealed the possibility of the two-time All-Star being dealt.

Heyman mentions the Toronto Blue Jays in particular, but Yelich hitting the market would open a full can of worms. Several contenders would presumably take interest in a talented lefty bat with Yelich's reputation in the field.

Teams would have to stomach Yelich's contract, worth $26 million annually, while also convincing him to waive his no-trade clause. The Brewers have only missed the postseason once since Yelich's arrival, but Craig Counsell departed in the offseason and there's understandable trepidation about the future in Milwaukee. The right big-spending contender should be able to at least catch Yelich's ear.

Of course, Yelich has also been struggling for a few years now. His production in 2023 — .278/.370/.447 with 19 home runs and 76 RBIs in 550 ABs — was a notable step in the right direction, but still far removed from his back-to-back years of MVP contention in 2018 and 2019, which precipitated Yelich's exorbitant contract.

He's a prime change of scenery trade candidate, but one that comes with considerable downside risk. Here are a few teams that should still inquire.

3. Phillies can boost outfield with Christian Yelich trade

The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the MLB's most aggressive front offices. Christian Yelich would cost a fair amount, but he's a proven asset with the potential to elevate Philadelphia's explosive offense to the next level.

Brandon Marsh was excellent during the Phillies' postseason push, but Johan Rojas completely tanked at the plate. Neither profiles as a surefire starter in 2024, and neither provides more upside than Yelich. Rojas' defense was invaluable to the Phillies' late-season push, and Marsh is a reliable (and young, and inexpensive) lefty bat. Yelich, however, is a two-time batting champ. He has been on a slide for the last couple years, sure, but the talent is beyond doubt.

Yelich could use a change of scenery, especially if that change of scenery involves a team that has appeared in back-to-back NL championship series with a postseason offense to rival any franchise in the MLB. The Phillies have weathered slumps from Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber, only to come out stronger on the other side. There's a lot of positive momentum around the Phillies' batting cages, which could translate to a resurgence at the plate for Yelich.

It's fair to quibble with the strategy of investing in Yelich's massive contract, but the best ownership groups in baseball spend money and pay taxes. A trade for Yelich is a massive swing, but if that swing connects, it could finally get this Phillies team over the hump. It's worth a thought.