Marcum On His Way To Milwaukee

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.

Comments (13)

  1. I hope Kyle Heckathorn is involved. Also does this mean the Jays will make a concerted run at Greinke?

  2. Yeah Griffin says he has a source on Lawrie as well, but based on his performance on the Fan the other night (OMG can anyone say burnout) I’m betting the “source” is Elliot. The Milwaukee writer is clearly E’s source, so it might be true, because he was the one who said it was pitching prospects originally. These guys aren’t Rhodes Scholars or anything, but Elliot is connected to more than a bar tab, it seems.

  3. I’m hearing Lawrie for Marcum straight up, unless they take away the PTBNL tag on the Villanueva deal. I’m not sure I like this trade. Maybe it will grow on me.

  4. TR: Marcum is a bulldog, but I was worried about his delivery before the surgery and he had a sore arm twice last year. And we had three SPs last year with their changeup as their out pitch (admittedly Marcum’s is sublime when he’s on). The thing about Lawrie that’s not to like is the lack-of-position issue, which we already have in spades with Lind. Maybe Lind’s going somewhere else, maybe Lawrie’s part of a three-way trade, but I doubt AA would deal pitching here if he wasn’t it getting it back somewhere else.

  5. I do like Lawrie’s athleticism. He steals bases and seems to be a solid all-around player. His “toolsiness” suggests he could be an average-armed left fielder with little trouble and that’s a position the Jays need more depth at in the organization. I think you’re right though, I think this allows AA a little “space” to go after more pitching. I think you’ll see the Greinke rumours start to swirl now.

  6. The fact the GM’s jumping in fast with stuff no one was wise to in advance is a plus. He’ll make some mistakes, but if he wants Greinke (and who knows if he does, but why not?) waiting for Cliff Lee’s situation to work itself out is a mistake. Whoever doesn’ t get Lee will go after Greinke, guaranteed. So if you want Greinke and you’re Toronto, you try to get to him before they do. In the meantime, if all you do is get good assets for other good assets, what’s the downside?

  7. This trade makes little sense if the plan is to acquire Greinke afterwards. Losing Marcum is a significant hit on the 2011 team and reduces the impact of a Greinke acquisition.

    If the plan is to continuing rebuilding and save money, it starts making more sense. One would think a Bautista trade would be next in line if that was the case.

  8. If anything I think it just gives the Jays another prospect with which to go after Greinke (if that’s at all their plan). Moving Marcum and getting Greinke allows them to have Greinke, Romero, Morrow and Cecil and still leaves a spot for someone like Drabek to step in (provided he’s not involved in said trade).

    I’m not saying that is their plan or that it even should be, but I don’t see how trading Marcum makes it less likely that the Jays will try to get Greinke…I think it makes it way way more likely.

  9. Not if you think you have a lot of pitching, and if you’re trying to stockpile elite players (see interview, this blog) as opposed to good No. 3 starters with a history of injury.

    And Rogers will have a lot of trouble at the moment telling Jays fans they need to save money. Antholopolous, in the same interview, just called Rogers the richest owners in MLB, which would look awful stupid if they weren’t planning to spend money.

    My bet is this team looks very different this time next week.

  10. I couldn’t believe it. When I looked up Lawrie last night at 9pm Wikipedia had him as traded to the Jays

  11. This deal sucks. An unproven AA player who can’t field for a good AL east pitcher? What are the jays thinking?

    • Marcum wasn’t going to sign long term. He’s gone in two years. Lawrie could be a stud for many. No one will be complaining about this deal in four years.

  12. Fair enough, but is the Jays’ window four years’ away? The Yanks are vulnerable now. The Rays are losing their talent now. Trading a proven commodity who’s locked in for two years for something down the road may look good in five years, but it smacks of a team that will consistently win 85 games but struggle to get to 90.

    (Unless the plan is to trade Hill + prospects for ZG? Does that even make sense for the Royals?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *