Keith Law has a very complimentary piece up about Shaun Marcum (insider), predicting a 3 WAR season for him in his 2nd year back from TJ surgery. He also notes that Milwaukee dumped Brett Lawrie due to makeup issues (work ethic, his commitment on defense, and refusal to go the the AFL for the SECOND straight year) though Law thinks his right-handed swing is one of the best in the minors. Due to his makeup issues and lack of athleticism, Law thinks he projects as a left fielder.
Now it is hard to criticize TX for not acquiring a player, given the deliberations that we'll never be privy to, suffice it to say, that Texas should have been in on him. Who knows, maybe Milwaukee was really keen on Lawrie despite his makeup issues and defensive shortcomings, despite what TX might have been willing to offer. Seems like a really good acquisition by the Brewer's, and one would think that Toronto could've gotten more for him now or at the deadline. Am I the only one that thinks this is a steal, getting a 200 inning 3 WAR starter for a AA prospect whose attitude poses serious obstacles toward his ceiling? Wow. This is the kind of move that TX should always be in on, even if it did sign Lee or trade for Greinke right?
Fangraphs had a couple of pieces up about this trade (here, here), but weighed against Law's take on Lawrie, they don't seem to get the whole story right.
1. neither fangraph's author noted anything at all about Lawrie's makeup issues, though his refusal to play in the AFL was surely public knowledge.
2. Toronto's rotation depth seems to be overstated, and the value Marcum had in any rotation in fact, understated. They really don't seem to have a solid #5 guy who is a sure bet.
This seems to indicate a couple of things. Toronto must have been very keen on Lawrie as a prospect, even if other teams offered a prospect like him (and TX probably didn't have anyone like him to offer, as Lawrie is much more likely to reach his ceiling than someone like Beltre is). They may or may not have been privy to his makeup issues and if they were didn't care, which is a risky proposition as we have seen with the likes of DGut in our own system, with very similar (though now much worse, if you don't buy the Adderral story) makeup issues. They must also be committed to developing a young starter at the back of the rotation, even though their ceiling appears to be limited (unless they think a AAA guy will fill that role at some point in the season).
Another thing to consider, though unlikely, is that maybe AL teams viewed him more as an NL pitcher, what with his fringy velo (though nice repertoire and plus change). Whatever the case, maybe the stars didn't align for Texas to pull of a trade here, but they should've (might've) been in on a trade like this to be sure. Would you prefer Tommy Hunter or Shaun Marcum?
Jore Arangure had this note about a Cuban defector:
Agent Scott Shapiro says OF Leonis Martin,22,considered best position prospect out of Cuba in years,in Mexico and should be declared FA soon
Durrett hears that a few teams are kicking the tires on Chris Davis. He may be blocked, but I would rather keep him in the system and see if he can figure it out in 2011. If he bashes next year in AAA, he'll have more value then to us or someone else than he has now.