Update: The Jays are expected to acquire 2008 first-round pick Brett Lawrie in return for Marcum. Lawrie, a 20-year-old second baseman, hit .285/.346/.449 as one of the youngest players in the Southern League last year. The Brewers’ No. 1 prospect, he’ll be a candidate to push Aaron Hill to third base in 2012, or he could shift to third base himself.
Perhaps looking to pick up some additional talent to use in a Zack Greinke trade, the Jays are close to sending right-hander Shaun Marcum to the Brewers, the Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt reports.
Marcum missed 2009 following Tommy John surgery, but he bounced back to go 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts last season. He’s 37-25 with a 3.85 ERA lifetime and he’s still two years away from free agency, so he’s an awfully valuable property. He’ll probably make just $4 million or so next year in arbitration.
No word on the return yet, but longtime prospect Mat Gamel is a logical choice to be included. The 25-year-old has been unable to establish himself in Milwaukee, but he has a very promising bat. The trouble has been finiding a position for him. He’s a subpar third baseman, though he would be an upgrade from Edwin Encarnacion with the glove. He’s also worked out at first base and in the outfield.
2009 first-round pick Eric Arnett, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and RHP Jeremy Jeffress are some other possibilities to be included.
If it gets done, it will be the second deal in a week between the two teams. The Jays recently picked up reliever Carlos Villanueva from the Brewers for a player to be named.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.