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In what could be categorized as Alex Anthopoulos' most controversial move since taking over the team's general manager, righty Shaun Marcum was dealt to Milwaukee in exchange for the Brewers top prospect, Canadian infielder Brett Lawrie.  Here's a look back on number 28 in his final season with Toronto.

Shaun Marcum shown on JaysVision prior to his June 20th start versus the San Francisco Giants.

Marcum throws a warm-up toss before his April 21st start against the Kansas City Royals.

Marcum continues his preparation in the Jays bullpen as he awaits a throw from catcher Jose Molina.

Marcum adjusts his cap with pitching coach Bruce Walton behind him.

Marcum winds...

...and delivers.  Marcum gave up a three-run homer to Jose Guillen in the first inning but threw six shutout innings afterwards.  Unfortunately, the Jays would lose the game in extra innings.

Marcum shown warming up on JaysVision prior to his May 2nd start versus Oakland.   

Marcum throws down the rosin bag as he gets set to pitch.  He would earn his first win of the season by giving up a single run over 6 1/3 innings to lead Toronto a 9-3 victory over the A's.

Marcum throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants on Father's Day.  He laboured through five innings but left with a 3-2 lead.  Unfortunately, the bullpen could not hold it in an eventual 9-6 loss as the Jays were unable to complete a three game sweep against the soon-to-be World Series Champions.

Marcum "played" the role of David Lee Roth in Van Halen's "Jump" video.  Jose Bautista "subs in" for Eddie Van Halen, Adam Lind "pinch hits" for bassist Mike Anthony, and Ricky Romero "relieves"  Alex Van Halen on the drums.  This video was played between innings of "80's Night" when the Jays played the Orioles July 26th, a game the powder blue-wearing Jays won 9-5.

A 2003 third round pick from Missouri State University, Marcum had been a Blue Jay since 2005 when he pitched eight shutout innings in relief during the month of September.  His 2006 campaign saw him lose four of seven decisions with an earned run average just over five but he managed to win 34 ball games in 2007, 2008, and 2010 combined after missing all of 2009 with Tommy John elbow surgery.  The 29 year-old Kansas City native won a career high 13 games in 2010 and struck out 165 batters in 195 1/3 innings pitched.  His career totals as a Blue Jay stand at 37-25 with a 3.85 ERA.  All the best in Milwaukee, Shaun Marcum.  You will be missed!

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
zeppelinkm - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 08:41 AM EST (#228160) #

After Sir Halladay departed, you, young warrior, became my favorite Blue Jay.

And I think warrior is appropriate, when describing Marcum's composition out on the mound.

Always fighting. Always battling. Always thinking 2 steps (2 pitches?) ahead. Never giving in.

You will have many victories in your new battleground.  You will always be fondly remembered here.

I hope you taught your change-up to many on our staff before departing, too.

92-93 - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 09:36 AM EST (#228161) #
I'll always remember Shaun Marcum as a no-hit teaser. It felt like he started every other game off with 5 hitless innings in 2008.
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 10:12 AM EST (#228162) #

After Sir Halladay departed, you, young warrior, became my favorite Blue Jay.

zep, time to stop making the rotation's ace your favorite Jay ... not if they're gonna keep leaving!

85bluejay - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 10:26 AM EST (#228163) #

Moving to the NL and with the opportunity for a longterm contract, I expect Marcum to have a career year in 2011-

 but in 5 yrs. this is the kind of deal that AA will be dining out on - the kind of bold move that too many GM's are

 too timid to make - capitalizing on Marcum's good yr, Brewers desire to go all in and Lawrie being out of favour

 with Brewer's mgmt. 

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 11:55 AM EST (#228164) #
Marcum was one of my favourite Jays (possibly my favourite), but I also see the logic behind the trade. Lawrie is a nice piece to add to the Jays' burgeoning supply of premium talent. Basically, AA is trying to get ahead of the curve. It would have been great if he had been able to pry away another prospect or two (Odorizzi, say), but it's all about supply and demand. Solid (#2) starting pitchers with reasonable contracts are in high demand; so are 20-year-old athletic top prospects. It seems like a fair exchange.

If Marcum can stay healthy, I expect him to have a very strong 2011.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 12:18 PM EST (#228165) #
I especially love the fifth one. Hides the changeup really well. That's an angle you don't typically see in news photos.
Dave Rutt - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 12:53 PM EST (#228166) #
Oh man, can't believe I missed that music video! I was at that game, but in the outfield, without a few of the scoreboard.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 01:23 PM EST (#228167) #

Marcum is a better pitcher than most people realize.  His ERA over his last 3 seasons combined is 3.72, with a WHIP under 1.20, while pitching in the AL East.  Looking through the current AL starting pitchers, I can only find 5 who have a better ERA over their last 3 seasons combined - Greinke, Hernandez, Lester, Sabathia and Weaver.  Adjusting for the much easier schedule, and no DH, I would expect him to put up ERA's in the low 3's, maybe occasionally in the high 2's.  With a good offense behind him, like what the Brewers currently have, he should win 15-17 games and could have a 20 win season in his arm at some point.  If the Brewers can sign him to a long term contract, they've really picked themselves up a mainstay for their rotation.  This Lawrie kid better be very, very good.  

I know one thing for sure - I'm going to grab Marcum for my fantasy team next season.  I'm sure I'll be able to get him lower than where he should go.  These guys who don't throw 95mph and don't have some flashy pitch like a big 12 to 6 curve, but just get people out, simply don't get the recognition they deserve.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 02:42 PM EST (#228168) #
The Brewers are sort of sneaky in trades, giving up players (Overbay, LaPorta) who end up not quite matching the hype - although Overbay might have been significantly better without the fateful Danks pitch that broke his hand. Hopefully Lawrie isn't the latest in that tradition. That's why I would have liked to see at least one high-upside prospect thrown in (to offset some of the risk of Lawrie falling short of his potential).

On the other hand, I think a lot rides on Marcum's health. He had an excellent post-surgery year in 2010, but he's had back and elbow issues in the past, he's never thrown 200 innings, and some have questioned whether his delivery creates an increased risk of injury. Plus, you could argue that he doesn't have a great margin for error, because his velocity is only average. If his stuff becomes a bit more fringy, he could get hit hard. Still, as things stand right now (and he's only 29), he's an excellent starter. If he stays healthy, he could end up being a slightly-better version of Woody Williams - another RHP without power stuff who moved to the NL mid-career, and who had a long and successful career.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 03:00 PM EST (#228169) #
There were two bats in recent drafts I really liked.

In 2008 it was Brett Lawrie in 2010 it was Josh Sale. We just traded Marcum for Brett. However, in the 2010 draft we selected Deck McGuire with our first pick when Josh Sale was available. So instead of Sale for McGuire we've traded Marcum for Lawrie. I'd prefer we had Sale and Marcum or Sale and Lawrie - but to end up with Lawrie and McGuire - that's the worse of the three possibilities - in my opinion.

Ya I know - sometimes sh*t happens.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 03:36 PM EST (#228170) #

Marcum's "Similar Pitchers through 28" list, accprding to BBRef, is actually pretty unimpressive.

  • Chris Young (976)
  • Tommy Greene (974)
  • Harry Gumbert (974)
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (971)
  • Rollie Sheldon (968)
  • Dave Wickersham (966)
  • John Farrell (965)
  • Pascual Perez (965)
  • Shane Reynolds (964)
  • Johnny Broaca (964)

Young's okay. Daisuke, Perez and Reynolds have had their moments. Farell was decent for a while.

I think Woody Williams might be "best case scenario" for Marcum. You think he has 10 more seasons and 95 more wins left in him?

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 04:14 PM EST (#228171) #
Sure - if he stays healthy (a big if), as emphasized in my previous posts. Williams didn't really get going until he was 30 (his career high in IP was 59.1 before that year). Marcum's age-28 season compares favourably to Williams's age-30 season. Marcum had a better ERA and better peripherals across the board, including hits, HR, walks, and Ks per 9 IP. Marcum's career ERA+ (112) and WHIP (1.24) are, thus far, significantly better than Williams's (103 and 1.32, respectively). And after his age-30 season, Williams had 18 wins. The 29-year-old Marcum already has 37 wins.

If Marcum stays healthy, and doesn't lose too much stuff, he could easily win 95 games over the next decade. Of course, wins, while a nice statistical bonus, aren't the best measure of a pitcher's career success.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 04:26 PM EST (#228172) #
I think there's a pretty good, slightly pessimistic, comp for Marcum taking up one of the other spots in the Brewers' rotation.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 04:55 PM EST (#228173) #
Best wishes from everyone here to former Jay Marty Cordova and his family. A week before Christmas, his 15 year old daughter was critically injured in a car accident on her way to school. She remains in a coma.
subculture - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 05:19 PM EST (#228174) #
I think one advantage that Marcum has going for him (to offset the view that a loss in velocity will really hurt him) is that his excellent fielding and runner control is not likely to change.  His years at shortstop were obvious and he was the best fielding/throwing pitcher I've seen.  I don't know what the impact would be on his era or games won over a full year or career, but think it's probably underestimated.

One play that I have never seen before and am convinced I will never see again.  I don't remember the team or the player (possibly against Baltimore?), but there was a fast runner on first who took off on Marcum's first move to home plate, and he had the base stolen as his jump was that good.  However the batter squared up the fastball which Marcum one-hopped and gunned to 2nd base, and just like that the double play was turned.

Basically Marcum was able to field a hard-hit ball, get his feet under him, turn and throw to second FASTER than a catcher would have been able to simply catch and throw the ball to second.  It was remarkable.

dan gordon - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 07:05 PM EST (#228175) #

I'll take the "over" on Marcum and 95 wins for the rest of his career.  Wouldn't be surprised to see him win 110 from here.  Of course, he's got to stay healthy, and wins depend so much on the rest of the team.

I see Fuentes apparently still has 11 suitors, including the Blue Jays and, in a case of overkill, the Red Sox.  I guess Bard, Papelbon and Jenks aren't enough options for the 9th inning.  Maybe they're trying for an "all-closer" bullpen.  Maybe they want to deal Papelbon.  Fuentes is reported to be looking for 3 years, 5 million per.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 09:41 PM EST (#228176) #
Also, like Williams (career OPS 489), Marcum could help himself in the wins department with his bat. In his two full seasons at Missouri State in 2002 and 2003, he hit 354/419/511 and 280/332/427. Another reason why adding Marcum is a brilliant move for an NL team going "all in" in 2010.
Flex - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 09:57 PM EST (#228177) #
Very best wishes to the Cordova family. What a terrible time for them. We hope for the best.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 11:01 PM EST (#228178) #
Apparently, it is official, the Jays have signed Octavio Dotel.  He gets 1 year at $2.75 million plus an option year at $3.75 million or a $750K buyout.  Nice addition to the pen, and a possible extra draft pick when he leaves. 
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.