Showing posts with label Shawn Marcum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shawn Marcum. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Catching Up on Transactions: Part One

The Trades
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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Royals Trade Zack Greinke to Milwaukee

This Hot Stove season has been everything a baseball fan could hope.

UPDATE: Word is that Jeremy Jeffress is not in the deal and that a PTBNL is the fourth part of the Royals' return package.

UPDATE 2: But that word is wrong and Jeffress is headed to Kansas City.

Last night the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers agreed on a trade that will send ace starter Zack Greinke and much maligned shortstop Yuneisky Betancourt to Milwaukee for young center fielder Lorenzo Cain, speedy shortstop Alcides Escobar and two top pitching prospects: Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.

Wow, is the word that comes to mind. Though I imagine the few remaining Royals fans are thinking in less family friendly terms. The deal actually isn't too bad. It may actually be the best deal Dayton Moore has made.

Lorenzo Cain was a favorite to unseat Carlos Gomez as the starting center fielder in Milwaukee in the upcoming season. Cain has above average, maybe even great speed. He is definitely a quality basestealer. He has very little homerun power right now. However, he has shown that he has the patience to draw walks and has shown signs that he knows what he is doing at the plate. If he continues to develop he should be the Royals' best option as leadoff hitter.

Alcides Escobar was supposed to become one of the stolen base leaders in the National League. Unfortunately he failed to hit as expected in 2010 and found himself with a manager who was not a fan of the stolen base. I was actually looking forward to watching Escobar rebound this season under new manager Ron Roenicke. Escobar doesn't walk much which hurts his on-base percentage and he swings at a ton of pitches out of the strike zone. He does make good contact and has fantastic speed so he still has a great chance to contribute to a fantasy team.

Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress were the Brewers best pitching prospects. Ordorizzi is a potential ace starter which awesome stuff. He has a great fastball and a variety of quality pitches to complement it. He had a nice 10.07 K9 last season in the minors and a very decent 46 percent groundball rate. He is the real deal. Jeffress throws the ball with triple digit velocity and has been compared to Dwight Gooden very frequently. He has an other worldly strikeout rate but struggles to gain even decent control. Many analyst believe that he will eventually move to the bullpen and become a top closer.

The Brewers have just about emptied their farm system between the Greinke and Marcum deals but have put together what is likely a top five starting rotation. The Brewers had one of the better offenses in the National League last season so they should be a much improved team. Greinke will love pitching in the National League because he will get to hit (something he never wanted to stop doing) and he will finally get to pitch in meaningful games. Greinke joins Marcum at the top of NL-only wish lists.

The 2011 season is going to be a ton of fun.