The Brewers are one step closer to filling the holes in their starting rotation this morning, as they've agreed to a deal to send Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum, Toronto's opening day starter in 2010 (FanShot). Marcum had a great bounceback season from Tommy John surgery in 2010, posting a 3.64 ERA, striking out 7.6 per nine and walking just 2 per nine while facing tough competition in the AL East. He's due up for arbitration for the second time this offseason, so the Brewers have him under control through 2012.
They're apparently hoping to keep Marcum a little longer, though: In this two-part tweet, Ken Rosenthal says Marcum (a Kansas City native) is excited to return to the midwest, and the Brewers are hopeful about their chances of signing him to a long term deal.
As you might expect, there's a fair amount of reaction to the deal out there:
Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has 14 reasons to like the move, and says Marcum is "the kind of pitcher that could make a very good #2 in the National League."
- Dave Cameron notes that Marcum had a lower walk rate and higher strikeout rate than Zack Greinke last season.
- In-Between Hops makes the case that Marcum is better than Yovani Gallardo, but also notes that he's struggled to pitch deep into games.
- Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker and Brewed Sports are both calling the deal "win-win."
- Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew notes that Marcum pitched 195.1 innings last season, has one of baseball's best changeups and throws strikes, but also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008, has a below-average fastball and a high fly ball rate.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America only needed 140 characters to throw cold water on both sides: He says he likes, but doesn't love Lawrie, and now "is exactly when Toronto should trade Marcum."
- Toby Harrmann says the deal is great news for Eric Farris and Scooter Gennett, two other second basemen in the organization.
- Tom Haudricourt notes that the Brewers have now traded their 2007 (Matt LaPorta) and 2008 (Lawrie) first round picks for pitching.
- The Grand National Championships used phrases like "cautious optimism" but also "a real downside."
- Brett Lawrie's Wikipedia page was already updated well before the deal was confirmed.
With one deal down, Brewer management will be looking for more this week as the Winter Meetings open in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Here's some of the early rumblings:
- Adam McCalvy noted that the Brewers are willing to trade Lorenzo Cain for more pitching.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun heard the Brewers are one of six teams interested in former Oriole Koji Uehara. Uehara posted a 2.86 ERA and 13 saves as a reliever for Baltimore in 2010, and a 4.05 ERA in 12 starts in 2009. He's seeking a multi-year deal.
- The Brewers might also be interested in Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution says moving him is one of the team's top priorities this week.
- Jeff Fletcher says the market for Prince Fielder is still quiet, and the Brewers aren't inclined to sell him cheap. I'd say the Marcum deal makes it relatively likely they'll hold onto him unless they can net immediate rotation help in return.
- The Winter Meetings have a pretty cool logo.
Last week in a note about Rickie Weeks I mentioned a WSSP interview with Doug Melvin. tcyoung dropped me a line yesterday to make sure I hadn't missed this note from the interview: Corey Hart has a clause in his contract preventing the team from trading him to a team that has spring training in Florida. You can listen to the full interview here: The conversation about Hart is at roughly the 15 minute mark.
I don't know about you guys, but I miss seeing daily updates from Plunk Everyone. Without them, how would I know that the Brewers tied for 20th in baseball with eight runners allowed to advance on defensive indifference last season? The Red Sox finished first, blowing away the field by allowing 20 runners to advance. The Indians allowed two.
In the minors: Baseball America is reporting the Brewers have re-signed reliever David Johnson to a minor league deal. Johnson is 28 years old and has posted a 4.10 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 49 walks in 120.2 innings over the last two seasons in Nashville.
The jury is still out, but I think I've seen the coolest thing purchased at this weekend's Brewer Clubhouse Sale: Keep Turning Up The Heat! has the lineup card from Ned Yost's final game as manager. Did you go to the sale? Get anything interesting?
If you missed this weekend, you missed even more Brewer news: Click this link or scroll down to read Noah's Weekend Mug and get up to date.
Indians: Signed third baseman Jack Hannahan to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed Jayson Werth to a seven year, $126 million deal.
Royals: Avoided arbitration with infielder Wilson Betemit ($1 million) and catcher Brayan Pena ($660k).
Tigers: Signed reliever John Bale to a minor league deal.
Today in former Brewer notes:
- Aaron Gleeman is listing Todd Coffey as one of eleven non-tendered players who are worth a look.
- The Veterans Committee's votes are in and Ted Simmons didn't make the cut for induction. Adarowski of Beyond the Box Score has a look at Simmons' case as compared to the median HOF catcher.
- Baseball Reference has a list of sixteen pitchers in major league history who have pitched between 30-65 innings in a season with an ERA+ over 200, and two former Brewers are on it: Bill Castro, who did it as a Brewer in 1978 and '79, and Skip Lockwood, who did as a Met in '75 and '79.
The Rule 5 Draft is coming up this week and Bucs Dugout has a look at another player that will be available: pitcher Aneury Rodriguez.
Are you ready to start looking ahead to 2011? FanGraphs has opened their fan projection ballots for next season.
On this day in 1976, the Brewers acquired first baseman Cecil Cooper from the Red Sox for first baseman George Scott and outfielder Bernie Carbo. Cooper spent eleven seasons in Milwaukee, hit .302/.339/.470, received MVP votes in five different seasons, made five All-Star appearances, won three Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Gloves.
On this day in 1991, the Brewers acquired reliever Jesse Orosco from the Indians for a PTBNL. Orosco spent three seasons as a Brewer during the fourth stop of his 24 season, nine team career.
Happy birthday over the weekend to:
- Beaver Dam, WI native and 1901 Milwaukee Brewer Pink Hawley, who would have turned 138 on Sunday.
Carlos Gomez, who turned 25 Saturday. (h/t @BernieBrewer)
- West Allis, WI native and 1975 and 1982-83 Brewer manager Harvey Kuenn, who would have turned 80 on Saturday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I haven't had breakfast yet.