In December of 2010 the Toronto Blue Jays traded their 2010 Opening Day starter Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee Brewers for a Double A prospect named Brett Lawrie.
It was a trade that had a lot of Jays fans confused.
Unless you follow all MLB prospects no one knew who Brett Lawrie was. Anytime your team acquires a player you haven’t heard of its natural to think he’s not good or that your team got ripped off.
The Blue Jays had also won 85 games in 2010 so fans were hoping for upgrades to the team for a playoff push in 2011. Trading your Opening Day starter for a Double A player that wasn’t going to be ready for the big leagues at the start of the season didn’t exactly scream contention.
Alex Anthopoulos even admitted he was making the 2011 team worse to build the Blue Jays into a sustainable winner.
So far the Brewers have won the trade.
In 2011 Marcum went 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA logging 200.2 innings (a career high) in 33 starts. His contribution helped the Brewers win the NL Central in 2011. Lawrie didn’t even come to the big leagues until August.
In 2012 Marcum and Lawrie both spent significant time on the disabled list, not providing the production they would have if they both stayed healthy all season. Marcum still did contribute to the Brewers finishing 5 games back of a playoff spot in 2012. It wouldn’t have been as close without him.
Lawrie hasn’t even played a full season for the Blue Jays yet.
The Brewers got more value out of Marcum in the last 2 seasons than the Blue Jays got from Lawrie.
Marcum was also a free agent this offseason and left the Brewers to sign with the Mets while the Blue Jays have Lawrie under team control for at least the next 5 seasons. With Marcum not even being a Brewer anymore the Blue Jays are going to win the trade just by Lawrie still being in a Blue Jays jersey.