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.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.