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Cain joins Brewers, leaves heart with KC fans

Speedy outfielder reportedly inks five-year contract worth $80 million
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain is going back to the team that drafted him and developed him.

But Cain said he will never forget his time in Kansas City and his love affair with Royals fans.

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain is going back to the team that drafted him and developed him.

But Cain said he will never forget his time in Kansas City and his love affair with Royals fans.

"It was a blast," Cain told MLB.com by phone Thursday. "I absolutely love Royals fans. They loved on me for so many years. Just thinking of them brings a smile to my face. Man, I'm really going to miss them.

"Just all the support they gave me. It was incredible. We all went through so much together."

Video: ARI@KC: Cain, Moose, Escobar, Hosmer soak up Kaufman

"It goes without saying what kind of player LoCain is, but it's rare to see somebody so beloved by everybody," Cain's Royals teammate Whit Merrifield said. "He just has a way of making your day better."

Cain, 31, reportedly agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, thus leaving the Royals after seven years with the club.

Cain, a wildly popular player in Kansas City, was the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year for center fielders in 2012, '13 and '14. And he was the American League Championship Series most valuable player in '14, when the Royals advanced to Game 7 of the World Series.

The next year, Cain and the Royals brought home the team's first World Series title in 30 years. It was Cain's three-run double in extra innings in Game 5 that sealed the win over the Mets.

"I'm so glad we were able to bring home a world championship for Kansas City," Cain said. "I'll never forget it. I'll never forget the feeling of winning it all. I'll never forget the parade. Man, that was so special."

Cain, who came to the Royals from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade in 2010, said the Brewers were on his trail from the start of free agency.

"They said from the minute free agency opened that I was on top of their list," Cain said. "We just had to work through all the details, and eventually we both got to the numbers we liked.

"But I always thought it would work. I mean, they called all the time and checked up on me. I was on top of their list, and they were top of my list. I got calls and offers from other teams, but it was really down to them."

Cain, who slashed .289/.342/.763 in seven seasons with the Royals, was a superb defender in center field and a menace on the bases, stealing 120 bags.

Video: Must C Catch: Cain makes great grab to rob a homer

Cain, though, said he never heard from the Royals during his free agency. Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who is in the midst of a rebuild in Kansas City, said he will comment on the Cain situation after the signing is confirmed by the Brewers.

"I understand it all," Cain said. "It's business. They're going another way."

Cain's reported signing came within hours of the Brewers acquiring gifted Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins in a trade.

"We've got a chance to be pretty good," Cain said. "I'm looking forward to doing whatever I can to help. It would seem we're a playoff contender."

Cain, a 17th-round Draft pick by the Brewers in 2004, also admits there were emotional factors in picking the Brewers.

"For sure," he said. "The chance to come home like that, so to speak, meant a lot. That's the team that drafted me, developed me. I got my first hit with them, my first home run. It means a lot to go back there. I want to win."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Lorenzo Cain