Midnight Update: Several sources are now saying that it’s a one for one swap, with Shaun Marcum going to Milwaukee and Brett Lawrie coming to Toronto.
My first impression is that I really like this deal for the Blue Jays, and that has absolutely nothing to do with Lawrie being Canadian. Marcum is getting moved at the absolute height of his value to a team that’s desperate for starting pitching.
Despite being a lousy defender, Lawrie fits the mould of players that Anthopoulos has targeted in the past: contact, power and speed. The only question is where he’ll end up playing. Left field seems to be the experts’ choice.
The Blue Jays are dealing from a position of strength in trading Marcum, and even if the team fails to acquire another starter (ahem Zack Greinke, ahem), they’re still in an excellent position with a surprisingly experienced rotation, none of whom are over 25 years of age.
Keep reading for more analysis on Lawrie.
From Earlier: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays are sending Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee in exchange for multiple prospects.
No confirmation yet on the prospects coming to Toronto, but Haudricourt says that pitching prospects are involved.
A good source told me that the Brewers have acquired right-hander Shaun Marcum from the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t know what the Brewers are wending to Toronto in exchange but the source told me it involved minor-league pitching prospects.
However, Wisco Sports Talk is reporting that Canadian Brett Lawrie will be heading the other way. Wait, what’s that wave like sound? Oh it’s the blood rushing through Bob Elliot’s body en route to his bathing suit area. Temper your excitement a little bit, Canada. It should be noted that Wisco Sports Talk was the first to report Lawrie’s involvement and isn’t exactly the Woodward and Bernstein of sports journalism.
Marcum was likely the most expendable of the Jays starters coming into the Winter Meetings. He had a career year in 2010, coming off of Tommy John surgery, and was the oldest pitcher in the rotation. He ranked sixth in all of baseball for his K:BB ratio of 3.84, and fills an immediate need for the Brewers.
Lawrie is among the Brewers top prospects. While his defence won’t inspire a ton of confidence (-3 Rtz last year), he has a surprising amount of power for a small guy. Despite only hitting eight home runs at Double A last season, his ISO was over .160, thanks in large part to hitting an unheard of 16 triples. The Brewers were considering moving him to catcher, but eventually decided against it, likely wanting to save his legs which stole 30 bases last year.
It’s doubtful he’d start this season with the big club, and unknown what position he’ll end up playing in the Majors.