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Quick Thoughts On The Sabathia Trade

July 7, 2008
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Well, it looks like the C.C. Sabathia trade to Milwaukee finally went down. After roughly a week of speculation, and a crazy Fourth of July weekend, a deal finally went down on Sunday afternoon. The players coming to Cleveland are still being confirmed, but OF Matt LaPorta is confirmed and apparently LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Rob Bryson, and a player to be named later believed to be 3B Taylor Green are included.

This is not the haul some fans were "dreaming" for over the weekend, but at first impression it is still a good collection of talent the Indians can use. I have a hard time giving a straight opinion on this trade though at this point, as it would not be fair to the Indians, Brewers, the players, and anyone who reads this as I would be giving a kneejerk opinion about four new prospects coming into the Indians family who I HAVE NEVER SEEN. Up until about a week ago, I knew who LaPorta was and the bat he had, but really knew much else about him. I had barely heard of Green, and I had never read or heard about Bryson. Anything I would say now would be an opinion based on stuff I am reading from other places.

So with that, I plan to get in contact with some people over the next day or so who have scouted these players. People I trust to give me the "lowdown" on the players the Indians received in this deal. I already talked to a high level scout the other night and he loved LaPorta and considered the Brewers system a top five system, so I want to see if that opinion remains consistent with some other scouts and player development personnel from other teams and also hear their opinions on the other three players in the deal.

Plus, it looks like LaPorta will probably start off at Akron and may be in uniform as soon as Tuesday night. I am actually going to be in Akron on Tuesday, so my hope is I will get a chance to talk with him and have an article on him sometime this week. Also, Bryson could very well be assigned to Lake County, and if so I would see him this coming Sunday and talk to him then.

So be on the lookout for pieces on these guys over the coming week, and a thorough breakdown of the deal from me after I talk to some people and potentially talk to some Brewers team personnell. I'll also be providing direct quotes from any of the people I talk to (permission permitted of course).

That all said.....if I had to give a quick take on the deal knowing about as much as you and everyone else about these guys....I am not blown away by this deal. I am not giddy. But, I am very satisfied.

In no way do I think this was a bad trade, as Sabathia was likely to be gone anyway. Plus, to me, the destination of Milwaukee for CC was perfect for us. It does not change ONE BIT our ability to resign CC. We already have months of negotiations logged, and while they are tabled now, we will get the same crack at him as everyone else assuming the Brewers don't resign him (they likely won't). So, while the chances of resigning him were very low to begin with, our chances are the same today as they were yesterday, two weeks ago, a year ago, etc. They have not changed. The only thing we have done is ensure we get something of value for him.

We obtained a player in LaPorta who is heralded as a guy with "game changing power" and "an advanced, polished bat and approach". We need guys like him in the middle of out lineup, and the comps of him to Matt Holiday and Lance Berkman have me salivating.

While I am confident in LaPorta's abilities, what will make this a make or break deal for Shapiro and the Indians is if a second player emerges as a star. It sounds like Green is being moved to 2B, and everything I have read on him so far with his approach, size, and ability screams Dustin Pedroia. I'd be happy with that. We'll see though, as I need to talk to someone who has seen him and has the whole scouting book on him. Bryson sounds like a promising power bullpen arm, and Jackson is just a thrown in to fill the rotation spot left by Sabathia since we really had nothing in Buffalo ready to fill in for him.

What a wacky weekend. I'll be back here with a lot more over the course of the week as I get more info.

Sunday Game Recaps:

- Buffalo loses 4-0. Sorta glad I nixed my plan to go to Buffalo at the last second. Anyway, LHP David Huff went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, 1 walk and had 5 strikeouts. The lone bright spot offensively was catcher Chris Gimenez who went 3-for-3 with a double.

- Akron won 14-5. LHP Ryan Edell went 6 innings and allowed 1 run on 5 hits, 0 walks and had 2 punchouts. 3B Wes Hodges went 3-for-6 with 2 3B, a HR and 4 RBI. RF Stephen Head went 3-for-6 with a 2B, 3B, and RBI. 1B Matt Whitney went 3-for-3 with a 2B and 2 RBI. Catcher Wyatt Toregas went 3-for-4 with 2 2Bs, a HR, and 5 RBI.

- Kinston was PPD because of rain.

- Lake County was off.

- Mahoning Valley lost 4-2. LHP Russell Young with another strong outing going 5 innings and allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 0 walks and 5 punchouts. SS Lonnie Chisenhall was the only bright spot on offense, going 3-for-4 with 2 2Bs and 2 RBI.

- The GCL Indians were off.

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