Tag: Shaun Marcum

Shaun Marcum Will Turn Into The Milwaukee Brewers Ace in 2011

Entering the 2011 season, the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff appears to be all about Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo and for good reason. The Brewers gave up four of their organization’s best young talents to bring the 2009 AL Cy Young winner to Milwaukee. Likewise, Gallardo has blossomed into one of the finest (and most underrated) pitchers in the game having posted back to back 200 strikeout seasons.

However, if the Brewers are to make a push to the playoffs in 2011, much of the credit will go to the third of their aces that has received virtually no attention since being acquired from the Blue Jays last monthShaun Marcum. 

Marcum is no stranger to being overshadowed. That can happen quite easily when you’re pitching on the same staff as Roy Halladay for four seasons. That was followed up by missing the entire 2009 season thanks to Tommy John surgery.

2010 proved to be the coming out party for Marcum. He served as the Opening Day starter for the Jays and finished the season with a 13-8 record and a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts.

His strikeout-to-walk ratio, WHIP and walks per nine innings were all better than either Greinke or Gallardo. Marcum put up his numbers all while pitching in the toughest division in baseball. This year, he can replace starts against the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox with starts against the Astros, Cubs and Pirates. Despite finishing fourth in their division, the Blue Jays won 85 games in 2010, a total that cannot be dismissed, especially against the level of competition they faced.

Despite missing all of 2009, Marcum proved to be a workhorse for Toronto. Only eight times did he pitch fewer than six innings, including his first nine starts of the year and eight of his final nine starts. 

Baseball is a game about matchups. Last season, Marcum was consistently matched up against the opposing team’s ace, but he’ll face many team’s third, fourth or fifth starter this year. In fact, there is a chance he could serve as the team’s fourth starter to break up the back to back throwing of lefties Randy Wolf and Chris Narveson. 

His offensive support will be virtually identical as well. The Jays scored only five more runs over the course of the season than the Brewers. Similarly, the defense for both teams was nearly the same as well. Neither was outstanding but he can do enough on his own to keep his team in the game.

It was Marcum’s arrival in Milwaukee that served as one of the main reasons Greinke decided to waive his no-trade clause to be sent to the Brewers. Now he’ll be able to showcase his talents for a team that has a much easier road to the playoffs.

Shaun Marcum doesn’t have the name recognition to excite the fans and drive up ticket sales like Greinke, nor does he have a following in Milwaukee like Gallardo, but he may prove the most valuable of the trio in the team’s effort for postseason play in 2011. 



To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here

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MLB Trades: 15 Important Minor Trades You May Have Missed This Offseason

Blockbuster trades, like the one that sent slugger Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox, get all of the attention from fans and analysts. But they are no more or less important than any other trade a general manager might make this offseason.

These under-the-radar trades are a valuable way to fill up a final roster spot, or to acquire some depth for the big league team or to bring in prospects as part of a rebuilding effort. No team can be built entirely from major trades and big free agent signings, and these deals show that winning in baseball is harder than it looks.

This offseason has been one of the busiest in recent memory, and dozens of players are now with new teams. Here is a look at the 15 most important minor trades made so far.

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Zack Greinke Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers: Are They the NL Central Favorites?

In acquiring the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin signaled to his team and fanbase that he has extremely high hopes for the 2011 season. The move not only solidified a greatly improved rotation, but assured Prince Fielder will remain in Milwaukee and not be traded.

Are the Brewers now the class of the NL Central or just one of several contenders for the division crown?

Although the Greinke trade received all the headlines and fanfare, the Shaun Marcum trade is the one that will be looked back at as the key to the offseason. Trading former top prospect Brett Lawrie for Marcum is the deal that signaled to Greinke that the Brewers were serious about winning in the upcoming season. He then took the Brewers off his no-trade list, and the rest is history.

The trio of Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Marcum is certainly on par with the Cardnials trio of Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia or the Reds‘ top three of Cueto, Volquez and Arroyo. Only the Pirates finished with a team ERA worse than the Brewers’ 4.65 last year. The Brewers won’t just have a better pitching staff than 2010, but they’ll have a significantly better staff than last year.

Marcum’s numbers were actually better than Greinke’s in 2010. Pitching in the ultra-competitive AL East, the 29-year-old righty went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA and pitched in a career-high 195.1 innings coming off Tommy John surgery.

Having a deeper rotation will also have a positive effect on the bullpen. John Axford had a brilliant rookie campaign for the Brewers by racking up 24 saves and a 2.48 ERA in 50 appearances. With Zach Braddock, Kameron Loe, Manny Parra and LaTroy Hawkins, the bullpen is full of power arms that can overpower an opposing team’s lineup.

Hawkins will have to bounce back successfully from surgery, and the rest of the pen will have to try and duplicate their recent success, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do as a reliever.

Defense will be an issue for the 2011 Brewers, but that has been a question mark for several years now. Losing shortstop Alcides Escobar and replacing him with Yuniesky Betancourt is a significant downgrade, but having Greinke, Gallardo and Marcum all capable of high strikeout numbers, there should be less chances for the infield to blow. Lorenzo Cain seemed to be a very good defensive player, but Carlos Gomez is all-world as a defensive player. It’s Gomez’s bat that is the problem, not his glove.

The offense was above average in 2010 and should continue being a strong point for the team. New manager Ron Roenicke is preaching a more aggressive brand of baseball, which indicates he’ll want his team stealing more bases and improving in situational hitting like hit-and-run and sacrifice plays.

The situational hitting will be key for the team. Power wasn’t and shouldn’t be an issue for this team at all. Casey McGehee, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder all hit at least 23 home runs last season and barring injury, they should be able to replicate that production in 2011 as well. Fielder had a down year in 2010, seeing his RBI total drop from 141 to 83, but he’s entering his final year before free agency so one can safely assume his numbers will improve dramatically.

The Brewers finished a distant third behind the Reds and Cardinals in 2010. The Reds have made no significant upgrades to their roster, and with respect to Lance Berkman, he’s not nearly the same player now as he was five years ago, so the Cardinals haven’t improved greatly either. Adding Ryan Theriot was a nice move, but it doesn’t compare with adding a player the level of Marcum or Greinke.

Standing pat is usually not a recipe to improve in baseball. Like the Brewers, the Reds still have youth on their side, so they should be a year better, not a year older. The same can’t be said for the Cardinals.

Will the Brewers in their current form win the 2011 NL Central? While that will be debated over the next several months, it appears at the very least the NL Central will now be a three-team race. The Brewers’ long-term window may not be as big as it was prior to the Marcum and Greinke trades, but fans and players alike can take solace in the fact that at least management is doing everything possible to make 2011 the most special in team history.

To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here.

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Zack Greinke Traded To Brewers: How Milwaukee Went From Pretender To Contender

Move over Cliff Lee, because this move will make more of an impact than Lee going back to Philadelphia. Zack Greinke was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday morning and this shifts the entire outlook of the National League.

The Brewers finished third in the National League Central last year, 14 games back of the Cincinnati Reds. Milwaukee was not light in hitting, but struggled mightily on the mound. They finished 12th in runs scored, but were 26th in ERA.

The ERA number should change drastically.

This move was made with the plan of revamping the starting rotation. Going into next season, the Brewers had Yovanni Gallardo (3.84 ERA, 200 Ks in 2010), Randy Wolf (4.17 ERA in 215 innings) and recently acquired Shaun Marcum (3.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in Toronto).

This makes them an immediate player in the NL Central and the National League as a whole. If you take a look at the divisions and really break down the rosters, there were only a few teams who could have competed.

In the West, it is San Francisco’s division to lose.

The Dodgers are picking up scraps from other teams and are in total dysfunction. Colorado cannot stay healthy and have to hope for another stellar season from Carlos Gonzalez to stay close.

The Diamondbacks and Padres have already mailed it in for 2011.

There is no legitimate contender for Philadelphia in the East.

The Mets are still trying to figure out their offense and have no stand out pitcher except for Johan Santana. Jason Bay needs to stay healthy.

Florida has a solid core of young players, but without Dan Uggla in the middle of the lineup, they are no match for anybody.

I wonder how much Bobby Cox retiring will affect the Braves. The more pressing issue is what they do for a closer.

Billy Wagner is retired and they may need a bullpen by committee at the beginning to figure that part out.

Atlanta’s offense is questionable as well. Sure, they have Brian McCann and Jason Heyward but after that, who?

Chipper Jones is a shell of himself. Matt Diaz is gone. Alex Gonzalez and Troy Glaus are another year older.

The Washington Nationals are not at this stage yet. They have a great deal of young talent, but they are not ready to make the leap yet, especially without Steven Strasburg.

This leaves the Central, which is now wide open.

It looks to be a three team race between the Brewers, Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The young Reds team received their first taste of postseason baseball, only to be swept away by the Phillies. The Cardinals did not have enough gas in the tank to make a September run.

For the Reds, youth is on their side. Their young pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Edison Volquez, have another year of experience under their belts and for Volquez, hopefully a healthy season.

Joey Votto is one of the premier players in baseball.

The Cardinals have the best player on the planet in Albert Pujols and one of the best one-two punches in baseball (Carpenter and Wainwright) when healthy.

The Brewers now have front of the line pitchers to be able to matchup with the others in the division.

This is also a more complete team than the one with CC Sabathia in 2008. The rotation is deeper, the lineup is more mature and they have a solid guy at the end of the bullpen with John Axford (24 saves in 27 chances).

They will make a run at the playoffs and, if they get in, could be very dangerous.

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Zack Grienke Traded To Milwaukee: Where Does Brewers Rotation Rank in NL?

Zack Greinke is finally on the move. The Kansas City Royals ace was traded today to the Milwaukee Brewers for a collection of top prospects, including shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and pitchers Jeffrey Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. The Brewers will also receive shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and $2 million in cash.

After two months of debate and speculation, Royals GM Dayton Moore pulled the trigger and sent Greinke to as far away from the AL Central as possible. It’s the second major trade for the Brewers this offseason, who acquired Toronto Blue Jays ace Shawn Marcum for top prospect Brett Lawrie.

But does the combination of Greinke and Marcum suddenly give the Brewers one of the best rotations in the National League? Let’s take a look at where they rank among the top five rotations in the league.

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Fantasy Baseball Fallout: Winter Meetings Day 1: Jayson Werth, JJ Putz and More

While the Adrian Gonzalez trade has gotten all of the publicity (and rightfully so, as you can read my thoughts on the deal by clicking here), there was plenty of other moves on the first day of the Winter Meetings worth noting.  Let’s take a look at the fantasy fallout:

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired SP Shaun Marcum from the Toronto Blue Jays for 2B Brett Lawrie. 
I’m not sure if I’m more surprised by the fact that the Brewers seemed more than willing to trade their top prospect or how excited fantasy owners should be that Marcum is now out of the AL East.  Lawrie has a ton of potential with the bat, though there is some debate as to whether his glove will allow him to stick at 2B or not.  At Double-A in ‘10 he hit .285 with 8 HR, 63 RBI, 90 R and 30 SB in 554 AB and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make his major league debut in ‘11.

He figures to be featured on our Top 50 prospects (which will be released in early ‘11), but the question is which team he’ll be representing.  There have been rumblings that the Blue Jays acquired him simply to flip him in another deal (Zack Greinke perhaps), but time will tell.  To read my prospect report on Lawrie, click here

As for Marcum, he was solid in ‘10 after missing all of ‘09 due to injury.  In 195.1 innings he posted a 3.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 165 K.  He has a career BB/9 of 2.80, yet was significantly better than that, posting a 1.98 mark.  It’s possible that moving to the NL will bring an increase in his strikeouts, which were already solid (7.60 K/9 and reaching 8.0 would not be a major surprise).  In the toughest division in baseball he posted solid numbers with realistic peripherals (.289 BABIP, 74.3% strand rate).  Moving to the NL, his value certainly improves.  He’s not going to be an ace, but he should definitely be thought of us a good buy as a middle of the rotation option.

The Washington Nationals signed OF Jayson Werth.
Not only was the destination a surprise, but the scope of the contract was as well.  A seven-year, $126 million dollar deal certainly took many off guard, but we can debate if he’s worth the money later on.  Right now, what we are most concerned with is if he will produce in 2011 or not.

He has shown good power the last three seasons, but 50 of his 87 HR came at home.  He’s likely to hit 20-24 HR, but that may be his upper limit now.  He also has some speed, but you talking about a player who has never exceeded 20 in a season in the major leagues.  He’ll chip in 85+ R and RBI, but the bottom line is that he is looking like a low-level OF2, at best, now that he’s landed in Washington.

The Baltimore Orioles acquired 3B Mark Reynolds from the Arizona Diamondbacks for P David Hernandez and P Kam Mickolio.
Hernandez & Mickolio figure to be middle relievers for the Diamondbacks and have little fantasy appeal at this point.  As for Reynolds, we all know that he is going to give some power, but the strikeouts have gotten to a ridiculous level.  In 2010 he posted strikeout rate of 42.3%, the fourth consecutive season it has increased.  Could it get any higher moving to the AL East?  You would certainly hope not, but I guess one never knows.  His value isn’t going to change by the move, however.  He remains a source of power and nothing else, meaning he’s a low-end option, even at a shallow position.

The Diamondbacks signed 3B Melvin Mora.
It didn’t take them long to try and find a replacement for Reynolds, but it is hard to imagine the 38-year old getting everyday AB.  He was used as a utility player for the Rockies in ‘10, hitting .285 with 7 HR and 2 SB in 316 AB.  Even if he does play every day, he just doesn’t bring enough to the table at this point in his career.

The Diamondbacks signed P J.J. Putz.
The Diamondbacks bullpen was horrendous in 2010 and signing Putz goes a long way in improving things.  He should be the stabilizing force at the back end as he returns to closing duties.  It’s easy to look at the terrible season he posted in a setup role for the Mets in ‘09 (5.22 ERA, 5.83 K/9), but he rebounded in a big way last season.  The strikeouts returned (10.83 K/9).  His control, which was pathetic in ‘09 (5.83 BB/9), came back as he posted a 2.50 mark (in ‘06 & ‘07 he posted walk rates below 2.00).  Maybe it was the injury he suffered in ‘08 still rearing its head, but at this point I’d feel confident that he was back on track.  Is he going to be an elite closer?  Probably not, but he certainly should be a solid mid-level option.

The Pirates signed P Kevin Correia.
In 2010 his control, which we thought may have improved in 2009 (2.91 BB/9), regressed back to around his career mark with a 3.97 mark.  He struggled with home runs (1.24 HR/9), despite calling Petco Park home.  He posted a K/9 of 7.14, though over his career he has been all over the map (career K/9 of 6.63).  Yes, you can say his 5.40 ERA was due to a 68.4% strand rate, but he just wasn’t that good regardless.  Now on the Pirates, he should be left as waiver wire fodder.

The Padres signed P Aaron Harang.
Can he rediscover what made him a very good fantasy option?  If he is healthy, it certainly could happen.  He has a career HR/FB of 11.0%, but you have to think getting out of Great American Ballpark will help him improve there.  He also suffered from a .346 BABIP and 69.4% strand rate in 2010.  He has good control (2.52 career BB/9) and strikeout upside (7.47 K/9 or better from 2006-2009).  He’s certainly worth taking a flier late in your draft in all deeper formats.  If you are in a shallower league, monitor him closely and be ready to pounce.

What are your thoughts on these moves?  Who is the biggest winner?  Who are you now targeting?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:


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Shaun Marcum Heads to Milwaukee as Toronto Blue Jays Youth Movement Continues

Over the weekend the Blue Jays made the latest in a series of deals aimed at building a championship caliber club a few years down the road. This one saw the Jays second best starting pitcher from 2010, Shaun Marcum, head to Milwaukee in return for top prospect Brett Lawrie.

Unlike last offseason’s Roy Halladay trade, Marcum was dealt despite two remaining years of arbitration eligibility. The Jays were at no risk of losing Marcum until at least 2013 and after missing all of 2009 with an injury and making just $850,000 this season, he would not have been expensive to keep around.

With no imminent threat of him leaving or becoming too expensive there are still several reasons why such a player would be parted with. Perhaps most importantly was the fact Marcum missed all of 2009 after having Tommy John surgery and came back and pitched 195 innings over 31 starts in 2010.

Going from zero big league innings one year to 195 the next is a massive jump and there had to be some concern on the part of Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, if Marcum could hold up enough to take the ball another 31 times in 2011.

The Blue Jays’ strong pitching left Anthopoulos with the option of foregoing all that risk because he has enough healthy, young, arms to absorb Marcum’s loss of production.

The Milwaukee Brewers reside in a completely different universe when it comes to starting pitching depth making them an ideal partner for the Jays to work with. The Brewers almost have to take a risk like this with little depth behind Yovani Gallardo and a lack of funds to chase after the likes of Cliff Lee in free agency.

And Marcum didn’t just comeback and survive 31 starts, he put together a fabulous campaign that finished up with a 3.64 ERA, 3.74 FIP and career bests in both his strikeout and walk rates.

And a healthy Marcum certainly could repeat those numbers, despite being the veteran of the Blue Jays starting rotation he’ll still be just 29 on Opening Day 2011. The possibility of a few seasons like 2010 from Marcum was enough for the Brewers to depart with top prospect, Brett Lawrie.

The loss of Marcum leaves Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and Brett Cecil as the front men for the Blue Jays young and talented starting rotation. Romero now becomes the senior member of the staff at the ripe old Opening Day age of 26.

That could be cause for concern as younger pitchers are routinely held to pitch counts, innings limits, extra time off between starts and extra caution with arm injuries now more than ever with new manager John Farrell on board, who came over from a Red Sox team that went to great lengths to protect its pitchers.

It was talked about after Clay Bucholz’s no-hitter in 2007 that he was going to be pulled, no-hitter in tact or not, if he hit his pitch count limit.

With that in mind, the Jays may want to bring a veteran starter to chew up some innings at the back of the rotation or at the least carry a true swing man able to switch from the ‘pen to the rotation when needed.

Farrell’s Red Sox teams, despite their massive payroll, always like to have someone like a Tim Wakefield or Julian Tavarez around to soak up some innings in spot starts and take the occasional “one for the team” pounding for the sake of the team’s other more valuable arms.

Getting back to Anthopoulos’ latest prospect grab, Brett Lawrie has the makings of a future star. He did more than hold his own as a 20-year-old in Double-A hitting .285 with a .164 isolated power and drawing a walk 7.7 percent of the time.

The power wasn’t overwhelming but drawing an average amount of walks and hitting for a solid average when facing Double-A pitching at such a young age bodes well for his future. He currently plays second but as with many young players a move to another position could be in his future. A move to third would open the clearest path to Toronto if his defense at second doesn’t figure to make the grade.

As with the Brett Wallace for Anthony Gose deal back in July, Anthopoulos looks very comfortable giving up near term production for long term, hopefully, superior production a little more ways into the future. Lawrie joins a group of positional prospects that continues to get deeper and more talented seemingly every couple of months since Anthopoulos has been at the helm.

As with most of his deals, only time will tell what exactly Anthopoulos is building this team into. In the meantime, it’s hard not to be impressed with the young talent he’s collected as baseball as a whole shifts evermore to valuing these types of players more than ever before.

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Toronto Blue Jays’ Shaun Marcum Traded for Prospect: Future Piece or Trade Chip?

Shaun Marcum has been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported.  Coming back to the Blue Jays is Brett Lawrie, a Canadian infielder who was rated by Baseball America as their second best prospect.

Marcum, at 28 years old, was the veteran and oldest member of the Jays starting pitching staff.  A third round pick in 2003, Marcum has pitched with the Jays his whole career. With a career 3.80 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, the starter was always known for his control rather than any ability to overpower a batter.

There were injury concerns with Marcum after he spent 2009 on the DL after elbow surgery.  He made a strong comeback in 2010, but there was always the chance that he could regress after pitching too many innings in his return.

Lawrie had a strong 2010 at Triple-A Huntsville, batting .285/.346/.451 with eight homers in 135 games.  Lawrie is known for his strong bat at second, but the 20-year-old will need to work on his defense to make to become a reliable second baseman at the Major League level.

This is the second trade that the Blue Jays have completed with the Brewers in a weeks time.  Earlier in the week acquiring relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva for a player to be named later.  This helps to shore up a bullpen that was heavily depleted in free agency, where they will possibly lose both Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg.

There is a chance that the Blue Jays acquired Lawrie as a trade chip to offer the Kansas City Royals for Zack Greinke, as they have had some preliminary talks.  

The question is that Greinke has Toronto on his no-trade list, so he would have to be asked to waive it if Toronto and Kansas City figured out a deal both sides were happy with.

The interesting thing to look at is this: the Blue Jays were considered by many to be close to contending for the playoffs on the strength of their pitching.  So do you give up some of that strength for a prospect who could still be a few years away?  Are they sacrificing the present to be that much stronger in the future?  

Did Anthopoulos want to sell high on a pitcher who had a great year, but could be classified as an injury risk?  In this deal, he acquired a prospect with a high potential ceiling to further build up for the future.

Do the Blue Jays think they have enough pitching right now with Kyle Drabek and Zach Stewart possibly making the big club next year.  Or, as was mentioned before, is there another potential deal in place to further increase the strength of the Jays’ starting five?

As the Winter Meetings get underway tomorrow, the Blue Jays are expected to be active buyers and sellers, and perhaps many of these questions will get answered this week.

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MLB Breaking News: Blue Jays Trade Shaun Marcum To Brewers For Brett Lawrie

According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Toronto Blue Jays have traded No. 1 pitcher and staff ace Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Brett Lawrie.

Marcum went 13-8 last season with a 3.64 ERA and 161 strikeouts.

Lawrie has both raw power and speed, batting .285 with eight homers, 36 doubles, 16 triples and 30 stolen bases for double-A Huntsville in 2010, just his second professional season and at 20 years old, was one of the youngest players in the Southern League to play last season.

This move looks to be a pre-cursor to a few larger moves the Jays may have up their sleeve in an attempt to acquire more talent to help bolster an already potent lineup.

There is word the Jays were looking to make a move for Zack Greinke. Could this move help lead the way for a Greinke to Toronto swap? That remains to be seen.

The Jays appear to be keeping their promise of trading to try and acquire talent going forward. The Jays traded Marcum, who was reportedly not going to re-sign with Toronto, for a young, controllable player in Lawrie.

I’m going to take a wait and see approach before thoroughly dissecting this deal, but getting a team’s number one prospect for a number 3 starter on a good staff seems like a win for the Blue Jays, despite what some may think.

The Canadian still sits about a year or so away from making an impact on the Jays roster, but Anthopolous continues to add assets to a young Blue Jays team. The question remains, when are you going to start spending money Alex?

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Brewers Acquire Starting Pitcher Shaun Marcum from Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported via Twitter that the Milwaukee Brewers are in the process of completing a trade for RHP Shaun Marcum, 28, of the Toronto Blue Jays. It appears to be a done deal with only the formalities and paperwork remaining.

A Canadian source has confirmed to Haudricourt that Milwaukee Brewers’ top prospect and 2008 First Round pick 2B Brett Lawrie will be going to the Blue Jays in the deal. Originally it was believed the Jays would be getting pitching prospects in return.

Obtaining Lawrie is a no-brainer for Toronto, as Lawrie is Canadian native born in Langley, British Columbia. He also played for the 2008 Canadian Junior National Team, as well as their 2008 Olympic squad. He has steadily moved up the ladder in the Brewers’ minor league system.

Marcum has proven to be an effective starting pitcher for the Jays and is a solid addition to the middle of the rotation. However, he is not a top of the rotation difference-maker. He does do something many of the Brewers’ starters have struggled with in recent memory.

He gets hitters out.

I am a bit stunned to see Lawrie involved in a trade for Marcum. I would think that, for the organization’s top prospect, Doug Melvin could have a aimed a bit higher. I like Marcum, but he’s a number three starter in my opinion. I just hope Melvin didn’t give up any other high level prospects in the deal.

This probably means a contract extension for 2B Rickie Weeks isn’t far off.

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