The deal (as of now):
Toronto gets: Brett Lawrie
Milwaukee gets: Shaun Marcum
I love the deal. I know many, many people are high on Lawrie but honestly, the experts really aren't. After last season most who have seen him play agree Lawrie is destined for a corner spot. As a 2B Lawrie has an absolute ton of upside and his bat makes him a clear blue chipper. As a corner outfielder? I don't see it. A .795 OPS at the AA level isn't something to get me worked up from a corner outfielder. His K rate is over 20% and he doesn't hit for power. It could be that I'm naturally sand bagging him because I like the deal, but I really don't see a whole lot there to get me excited, assuming his glove moves him to right. BrewerFan.net loved him in September (seemingly suggesting trading Weeks or Hart to clear room for him).
As to Marcum, find me a glaring issue? He's back from Tommy John (an injury unlikely to recur and a surgery that restores past durability), was playing in the AL bEast for a team in contention (if that sort of thing matters to you), was considered the team ace (pitched opening day) and pitched well, posting a better WHIP than Gallardo. His 3.5 WAR, when you assume he's replacing someone below replacement level, is a massive upgrade. I've read suggestions that hoping he'll put up similar numbers is wishful thinking, but he'll come to Milwaukee without any of the pressures he had in Toronto and more importantly, without having to face the Yankees or Red Sox. But wait, there is more....the Brewers control him for at least two more seasons. I think Jack Moore in his post at FanGraphs sums it up well:
With Lawrie coming off a very impressive .361 wOBA season as a 20 year old at AA Huntsville, it’s hard to imagine his value at a higher point in the near future. The Brewers had a large roster hole to fill, and due to the concerns about Lawrie’s position, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin decided to capitalize on Lawrie’s high prospect stock. By most accounts, this deal was fair to both sides. The Brewers filled a need and the Jays dealt from a position of surplus. The Brewers win in the short term, and, if Lawrie develops in accordance to his top prospect status, the Jays should enjoy a solid long term return.
So where does the rotation fall? I'm guessing it will look like Gallardo, Wolf, Marcum, Rogers, Narveson. The Brewers might give Jeffress and others a shot to compete for that last spot in the Spring and I expect Melvin to bring in some crafty, assy Veteran innings eater to foul the whole thing up...
Sidenote, the notorious Brewer hater Jon Heyman thinks this is a lousy deal for the Brewers. I'm stunned.