That might not be exactly how Alex Anthopoulos' itinerary went on Sunday evening, but that certainly seems how it went down. The Winter Meetings aren't even officially underway yet, and already the Blue Jays dropped a bomb on us.
All indications point to Shaun Marcum being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for second base prospect Brett Lawrie. Marcum was a great pitcher for the Blue Jays, but he was the expendable arm in the starting rotation.
I've always liked Shaun Marcum and he was my favourite pitchers on the staff. He didn't overpower hitters, but instead Marcum was a finesse pitcher and location was his weapon of choice.
Shaun turns 29 next week, but compared to the rest of the starting staff, he may as well be 35. Marcum had two more arbitration eligible years left under team control.
In return the Blue Jays receive the Brewers second best prospect (as of last year) according to Baseball America. Here's what Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin had to say about Lawrie earlier this year:
"When Brett was drafted, he was drafted for his bat. It wasn't firm where he was going to play, and [second base] might not be his last position, either. He's athletic enough to play a couple of positions."These are promising words from within the Brewers organization, and shows Lawrie's versatility that he could probably play either of the corner infield positions, second base, or even revert back to catcher if he so chooses.
Some folks are suspecting this move signaled a Zack Greinke trade with the Royals is imminent and that the Blue Jays are loading up on prospects so they can swing a deal with Kansas City.
If that's the case, why wouldn't the Blue Jays just deal Shaun Marcum to the Royals in a package for Zack Greinke? Marcum may only be under team control for two more years, but that's still pretty enticing.
I still have a tough time believing Toronto is targeting Zack Greinke because even with Shaun Marcum gone now, starting pitching is not something the organization needs to be concerned about right now.
Does it really make sense to jeopardize the long-term success of this team to get Zack Greinke? He's only under contract for two more years anyway, and it's not like he's cheap: $12.5 million is a steep price to pay for someone who isn't necessarily a bonafide ace, but is definitely paid like one.
Regardless, I have a suspicion that the Shaun Marcum trade is only the tip of the iceberg and Alex Anthopoulos will be a very busy man at the Winter Meetings this week.
Shaun, I enjoyed your work as member of the Toronto Blue Jays and I will miss your ever-changing facial hair styles. Best of luck pitching like a man in Milwaukee.