The Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers for 2B Brett Lawrie.
We knew that the Blue Jays were planning to deal some of their surplus of starting pitching. Our mistake was believing they would deal prospects rather than arguably their best starter. Shawn Marcum may not qualify as an ace in the eyes of some but he was a great starter for Toronto when healthy in 2008 and 2010. The AL-East is where only the best pitchers can thrive and Marcum thrived. Now he heads to the NL-Central where instead of the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays he will see the Pirates, the Astros, and the newly weakened Cardinals. Pitchers almost automatically see a bump in performance moving from the American League to the National League, moving to the central should make Marcum look even better. Marcum is a prime target in NL-only leagues now.
Brett Lawrie is presently called a second base prospect but he actually shoulld be called a hitting prospect. The position is just a detail, Lawrie is a hitter. He should hit for average and power and steal a few bases from whatever position he ends up playing. There are rumors of a switch to third base, no doubt based on the huge hole the Blue Jays have on their major league roster.
The Milwaukee Brewers traded Carlos Villanueva to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Chicago White Sox traded RHP Scott Linebrink to the Atlanta Braves for Kyle Cofield.
The Arizona Diamondbacks traded 3B Mark Reynolds to the Baltimore Orioles for RHPs David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.
Mark Reynolds is an interesting player but not a great one in fantasy or otherwise. I doubt he'll hit worse than he did in 2010 again. But he will also be a threat to trash your batting average in exchange for 30 or so homeruns. The Orioles actually can use Reynolds as both a third base insurance plan until Josh Bell is ready and then move him into their (at least for now) gaping hole at first base. He should be a decent fantasy player just don't expect him to repeat 2009 again.
The Diamondbacks get two middle relievers. I actually like David Hernandez a lot and until they acquired J.J. Putz I thought he might fill their closer hole nicely. In deeper leagues he's still a decent reliever to fill a spot and could see some action in the ninth if Putz has problems staying healthy and effective.