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Report: Brewers to acquire Shaun Marcum from Jays

Dec 5, 2010, 9:09 PM EDT

Shaun Marcum

Update: The Jays are expected to acquire 2008 first-round pick Brett Lawrie in return for Marcum. Lawrie, a 20-year-old second baseman, hit .285/.346/.449 as one of the youngest players in the Southern League last year. The Brewers’ No. 1 prospect, he’ll be a candidate to push Aaron Hill to third base in 2012, or he could shift to third base himself.

Perhaps looking to pick up some additional talent to use in a Zack Greinke trade, the Jays are close to sending right-hander Shaun Marcum to the Brewers, the Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt reports.

Marcum missed 2009 following Tommy John surgery, but he bounced back to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts last season. He’s 37-25 with a 3.85 ERA lifetime and he’s still two years away from free agency, so he’s an awfully valuable property. He’ll probably make just $4 million or so next year in arbitration.

No word on the return yet, but longtime prospect Mat Gamel is a logical choice to be included. The 25-year-old has been unable to establish himself in Milwaukee, but he has a very promising bat. The trouble has been finiding a position for him. He’s a subpar third baseman, though he would be an upgrade from Edwin Encarnacion with the glove. He’s also worked out at first base and in the outfield.

2009 first-round pick Eric Arnett, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and RHP Jeremy Jeffress are some other possibilities to be included.

If it gets done, it will be the second deal in a week between the two teams. The Jays recently picked up reliever Carlos Villanueva from the Brewers for a player to be named.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Very interesting and nobody saw it coming. That idiot Elliott at the Toronto Sun was wrong on his speculation about Greinke. With this trade it is highly likely that Drabek will not be going anywhere.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 5, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    What a GREAT move for the Brewers.

    Gallardo and Marcum make a very solid front-two for a rotation that definitely needed to add another big-arm this offseason. Wolf slots out better as a number three anyway.

    It’ll be interesting to see what (if anything) else they do to improve the rotation this offseason. I could see them taking a gamble on a reclamation project type guy or–if they move Prince–in another big trade.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM

      Marcum does not throw very hard, but he has great location on his pitches. He is a competitor and fields his position extremely well.

    • alexpoterack - Dec 5, 2010 at 10:41 PM

      Yeah, though it sounds like they traded Brett Lawrie to do it…which could be bad.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Dec 5, 2010 at 11:06 PM

        Yeah, now that the news is in about Lawrie, it’s a little less awesome. Especially if Prince is going to get moved, Lawrie could have been a great addition to the club, he’s got legit 30-homer power.

        I guess the club figured that they’ve had much better luck producing big bats out of their minor league system and they’re better off going out of the system for pitching improvements.

        I think the NL Central is still wide-open enough that they could give the Cards/Reds a real run for their money with that kind of one-two punch at the top of the rotation. Especially if Wolf has a bounce-back season as the number three.

        If they keep Prince around (at least until the deadline) and Braun, Weeks, Hart, etc. can all stay healthy and productive, they might be able to make some real noise next season.

        The fact that it’s Lawrie makes it a little less of a straight-up win, but adding a guy with the track record of Marcum is never a bad thing. It’s just a little iffy as to whether the Brewers have a realistic mindset of where they sit compared to the rest of the division.

        If they think Marcum is “the missing piece” this is a great move, but to me he seems like a great first move to setup a really tough ball club. I guess we’ll have to see where they go from here this offseason.

        Granted, locking Marcum up beyond the two years of arbitration he has left would immediately put a nice shine on this trade.

  3. JBerardi - Dec 5, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    While Marcum is exactly the kind of player the Brewers need to improve, I still don’t think they’re legitimate contenders next year. They should be acquiring prospects, not trading them.

    • brewcrewchamps - Dec 6, 2010 at 1:48 AM

      I think the Brewers farm has enough position players to trade away for arms and the whole team is pretty young with Braun, Fielder, Hart, Cain, Weeks, Escobar, McGehee, and Escobar. Can’t keep that much promise in your farm waiting for these guys to get old or bad.

      Good move I think. Sucks that it’s Lawrie but we need starting pitching. Maybe one more move like this or am I getting my hopes up?

      • basedrum777 - Dec 6, 2010 at 9:44 AM

        I agree with brewcrew…

        Who exactly in the central is that dominant? I mean the Cards always look like world beaters and La Russa blows it. They have had two great starters for 3 years now and have done zilch.

        I’m an AL guy and can tell you Marcum will be good seeing only 8 batters a trip.

      • JBerardi - Dec 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM

        The Reds.

  4. proudlycanadian - Dec 6, 2010 at 2:43 AM

    Lawrie makes a lot of sense. He is a Canadian and would have been drafted by the Jays if the Brewers had not taken him before the Jays had their pick.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 6, 2010 at 9:27 AM

      Marcum doesn’t have the greatest “stuff” but is a “bulldog” on the mound. The only negative I can think about regarding him is that there is a little bit of concern about his mechanics. Some observers think that he is a candidate for more arm trouble in the future.

      Lawrie was drafted in the 16th spot in the 2008 draft. The Jays were very disappointed as they wanted him with the 17th pick. He played for Canada in the WBC and last season was the youngest player in his Double A league. Expect that he will remain in the minors for a year or two.

      Next season Toronto’s rotation will probably be composed of Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Drabek and Rzepczynski. Scrabble went to the AFL to work on his mechanics and dominated the hitters he faced.

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