The offseason between the 2010 and 2011 seasons wasn't supposed to be a good one. The Brewers were expected to launch a rebuilding effort by trading Prince Fielder, making short term contention an afterthought. Two years ago today the Brewers turned that notion on its head, though, when they acquired Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays in exchange for Brett Lawrie.
Marcum was about to turn 29 at the time of the trade and had pitched five seasons for the Blue Jays, posting a 3.85 ERA over 120 career appearances. He was, however, a year removed from missing a full season due to Tommy John surgery and had thrown more than 160 innings in a season just one time.
Marcum was a key part of the Brewers' reaching the postseason in 2011, but unfortunately he was also a key part of their NLCS loss and he's frequently better remembered for that. Despite injury issues and a late season slide in 2011, Marcum posted a 3.60 ERA in 54 games as a Brewer. If not for his health concerns, he'd be one of the top free agent pitchers on the market this winter.
Of course, it's worth noting that the Blue Jays got a good deal in this trade too. Lawrie won't turn 23 until January and has already appeared in 168 major league games, batting .278/.336/.446 with 20 home runs.