Big Baseball Day

Today was big day in the world of Major League Baseball.  Last year’s Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for power hitting prospect Matt LaPorta and some other unconfirmed minor leaguers.  I was surprised about the urgency with which this trade went down.  It seems like the Brewers never tried to low ball the Indians and work their way up.  This didn’t give anyone else a chance to top their offer, so the Indians just accepted.  Quick and painless.

I like this move for the Brewers for many reasons.  At the close of the day the Brewers sat 3.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs in the AL Central, Sabathia gives them another dominant, front-line pitcher to compliment Ben Sheets, giving then one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball.  It also allows Jeff Suppan to slide back into the number three spot, where he thrived for the Cardinals before signing his free agent deal with Milwaukee.  While I am a big fan of Mr. Suppan, as detailed here, he is not a number two starter.

As for LaPorta, the Brew Crew may miss his power, but their Double A team is loaded.  LaPorta converted from first base in his college days to outfield this year, where he’s only made two errors.  This year, he’s put together an eye popping line of .288/20/66 in 84 games.  They’re not exactly losing their offense at Double A since Third Baseman Mat Gamel is putting together an equally impressive line of .374/15/75.  Gamel, however, has committed 23 errors in 87 games.  I would look for a swap of positions in the near future; maybe 1st Base if Prince Fielder gets traded in the offseason (not as crazy as it sounds, we’ll discuss this in a minute.)  The report also says that they were not forced to give up shorstop prospect Alcides Escobar who’s hitting .324/7/52 to go along with 22 steals.  The Brewers are going to be set for a while.

Another interesting thought was brought up by Buster Olney on Baseball Tonight.  He said that if Sabathia and Sheets both leave after this year via free agency, the Brewers will have five of the top 35 picks in the 2009 Draft.  That’s kind of frightening for the rest of the National League.

Now back to that little bit about Prince Fielder.  My friend and frequent commenter, Nick, were discussing this possibility a couple days back.  Back in March, Tim for MLBTradeRumors posted this about Prince not being happy with his contract being renewed, rather than the possibility of an extension.  Think of the return the Brewers could get for a controllable player who is in his early 20s and has a 50 homer season to his credit.  It would be something we’ve never seen before.  The two comparables I can come up with off the top of my head are Mark Teixeira’s trade to the Braves last year for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Neftali Feliz.  This was for 1.5 season’s of Teixeira if the Braves are unable to resign him.  The second is the Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis trade to the Detroit Tigers for Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.  Both of these involved superstar players under contract for over a year…but neither one has hit 50 homers.  The return for Prince could be astronomical.  We settled on the Giants as the team who could get him.  The Brew Crew would need pitching and the Giants have the young pitchers to get it done.  Tim Lincecum would be the starting point.  Would it also need Madison Bumgarner and/or Tim Alderson?  It’s fun to speculate.

Anyway, enough Brewer talk for tonight.  Maybe I’ll come back to criticize the All-Star selections tomorrow.  Geovany Soto is my new least favorite player in baseball.

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