Sabathia is a Brewer

July 6, 2008 at 7:45 pm 4 comments

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(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Sources are making it clear that the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers have struck a deal that will send ace C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee in exchange for a package of top prospects including slugger Matt LaPorta.

The deal is all but complete. The Brewers deal for Sabathia has been agreed in principle, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.

Sabathia then confirmed it via text message to the 4-letter’s Amy K. Nelson: “I’m good, excited,” Sabathia wrote. “It’s weird leaving these guys.”

The Brewers will send Matt LaPorta, who can handle a corner outfield spot but is better suited for first base, to the Indians and a group of prospects. Not included in that group are the Brewers other two top prospects: shortstop Alcides Escobar and 3B Mat Gamel. Matt LaPorta was scratched from Double-A Huntsville’s lineup Sunday, another indication the deal was close.

Some have speculated that outfield prospect Lorenzo Cain (22 years old: .280/.353/.432 with 22 doubles, 4 triples, 7 homers, 19 steals, 50 runs, 43 RBI, and a 32/74 BB/K rate in 336 at-bats) and third base prospect Taylor Green (21 years old: .295/.380/.444 with 15 doubles, 10 homers, 3 steals, 33 runs, 54 RBI, and a 42/42 BB/K rate in 302 at-bats) could be part of the deal. Jeff Passan at yahoo.com is saying Green is a part of the deal. Both guys were in my top 15 (12 and 14 respectively) Brewers prospects.

LaPorta would be a great fit and reminds me of a right handed version of Travis Hafner (pre-2008). He has plus-plus power and a great eye but is pretty bad in the field. He is currently hitting .288/.402/.576 with 23 doubles, 2 triples, 20 homers, 56 runs, 66 RBI, 2 steals, and a 45/63 BB/K rate in 302 at-bats. He has 32 homers in 417 career pro at-bats. The Brewers knew what they were doing when they drafted LaPorta last year.

This deal is really huge for the Brewers. They get the best starter on the market, one who has pitched in contention and one who has major ability to dominate the weaker NL. This deal is also huge because it means that Ben Sheets is not going to be traded, so all buyers need not inquire. The deal also gives the Brew Crew the best 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation in the NL and possibly in the entire majors.

According to baseballmusings.com Peter Gammons also reported during the ESPN game that the Brewers are trading straight for Sabathia, without the condition of signing him. It appears that Milwaukee is pulling out all the stops in an effort to win a championship this season.

If the deal goes through by tomorrow it will be in time for Sabathia to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday and he will also be able to start on Sunday for the Brew Crew if he starts for them in Tuesday. That will give the Brewers two Sabathia starts before the All-Star break.

There is no doubt that this trade is a win-win. The Indians weren’t going to extend him and they are getting top talent in return for 3 possible months of Sabathia. Even though the trade is a win-win for both teams this trade has to favor the Brewers. They got the best arm available, they are a true force now, and they can let him walk this offseason and get multiple draft picks for him. Great move by GM Melvin here by not budging on Gamel or Escobar and getting his man by trading a guy they went over slot on in last year’s draft.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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Trade Talk and Random Readings Trade Talk and other Rumblings

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Keith Law at the 4-letter said that the Indians get Rob Bryson (“a young, projectable pitcher who, a year later, looks like the key to the trade”), lefty Zach Jackson, and a player to be named later (possibly Tyler Green).

    Reply
  • 2. supremesportsjustice  |  July 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Can’t argue with the Brewers going for it, even if it is a rental. You have to like them for the NL Wild Card now.

    Reply
  • 3. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 7, 2008 at 6:33 am

    I think they have a legit shot at the NL Central now. I honestly can’t see the Cards making the playoffs and the Brewers might have the best offense if Weeks can return to post All-Star break form of 2007.

    Reply
  • 4. erik  |  July 7, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Great deal for Milwaukee. Sabathia is untouchable versus the NL Central.

    Reply

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