Shaun Marcum said he was surprised to be traded to the Brewers Brett Lawrie had the opposite reaction when he was shipped to the Blue Jays this week to balance the deal.
“It was something that I knew was going to happen,” Lawrie told reporters on Tuesday, a day after Milwaukee ad Toronto finalized their trade. “The Brewers obviously needed pitching, and knowing that I’m one of the top prospects, getting traded was obviously in the cards. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t know when.”
Lawrie is one of the top-ranked offensive prospects in the game. He entered the 2010 campaign listed at No.26 on MLB.com’s Top 50 prospects and likely will improve on that standing prior to the start of next season.
The trade is a homecoming of sorts for the native of Langley, British Columbia, who was a member of Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“It’s something special,” Lawrie said of joining the only team that plays north of the border. “The opportunity for me to get to play Major League Baseball in any city is an honor, but this is a bonus because of the fact that it’s in Canada.
“I’m happy that I’m coming home, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, and now my path is to play Major League baseball and do it sooner than later.”
And later in the story:
All of the talk surrounding the former star of the Canadian Junior program hasn’t been positive. There have been whispers around baseball that Milwaukee had issues with his attitude, which, according to some, borders on cockiness.
The Blue Jays have never shied away from players who sometimes fall into that category, though. Jose Bautista had been similarly stereotyped earlier in his career and nobody has questioned catching prospect J.P. Arencibia’s belief in his own abilities.
What is considered cocky to one person can be taken by another as having the confidence required to succeed at the highest level.
“I had somebody who has been around the game for 30 years tell me he has never seen somebody play harder and you’ll never have an issue with him between the lines,” Anthopoulos said.
“Is he intense? Is he competitive? Yes. He’s somebody that plays the game to win. You’re not going to get 25 players that are cut from the same cloth. But I know one thing — his work ethic and the way he plays the game won’t be matched.”