Sabathia deal finalized

The Indians will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. ET today to announce the Sabathia trade.

Sabathia, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, is headed to a Milwaukee team looking to make a playoff push, while the last-place Indians will receive a batch of Minor Leaguers -- outfielder/first baseman Matt LaPorta, right-hander Rob Bryson, left-hander Zach Jackson and a player to be named -- they hope will help them retool for the future.

 

It is believed the player to be named will either be Class A third baseman Taylor Green or Double-A outfielder Michael Brantley, both of whom are considered prime prospects.

 

LaPorta is the key to the deal, from the Indians' perspective. Bryson is only 20 years old. He's a power relief arm, so he's intriguing. Jackson is a throw-in simply to provide depth on a thin Buffalo pitching staff.

 

We'll have a slew of stuff on the site as the day progresses.

 

UPDATE (2:22 p.m. ET): Shapiro confirmed that the Indians are choosing between two players for the PTBN, and they have until the end of the Minor League season to do so. He said the PTBN is indeed a key part of the deal.

 

The agent for Brantley and Green posted in a blog that Brantley is not part of this deal in any way, shape or form. If that's true, it's a shame for the Indians, because Brantley is a pretty highly touted prospect. Green, who could be part of the deal, is not as high on the totem pole.

20 Comments

If Green becomes the PTBNL, does it make sense to sign Blake for another year or 2 and cut Marte loose?

As a Tribe fan of almost 30 years now, this is just another big disappointment. Since I have been in Cleveland, we have never signed a home-grown “about-to-become-a-free-agent”…ever! It’s always about the money. If the current management didn’t have so much tied up in mediocre players like Delucci or Hafner (whom I think is washed up), then we could maybe take a real stab at keeping one of these guys. If you look at it all we got was a handfull of prospects. Class A???? Come on, the equivalent of the Lake County Captains!?! This is the best they can deliver? It is becoming harder and harder to be an Indians fan anymore. I can’t even watch them on TV, since they are so painful to watch. My wife and I usually watch on an average of 100+ games per year. This year I bet we have watched 2 or 3 games from opening pitch to final out. I also think Wedge’s managerial skills are being exposed, as this year he has had to really manage. Hey…maybe next year right?

What does this deal get us that we don’t already have? The only thing I see is this “power arm.” Do we really need another first base/outfield prospect? I know that the outfield is struggling currently, but all of them are young (26 or less) and we do have players like Trevor Crowe. On the first base front, we have Jordan Brown, Michael Aubrey, and Ryan Mulhern all waiting for the chance to take over should Garko be replaced. About this Green kid, why would we want a 20 something 3rd baseman that hasn’t advanced past single A? We already have Andy Marte, who hit well in the minors, but can’t find his swing at the dance. This just shows that either Shapiro doesn’t have a clue or that the Dolans are the total opposite of Dick Jacobs (meddling in things that they don’t understand). This trade doesn’t meet any of our short or long term needs, period.

One more thing. Being an Indians fan for over 30 years, I am ashamed and disgusted to see my team giving up on the season before the halfway point. It seems as if we were in a similar situation a couple of years ago, then proceeded to come within a win away from the playoffs. All this tells me is that the Indians management doesn’t have as much desire for the team to win as the fans do. Finding time to get to a game a few hours away is difficult to do, so I guess I should thank Tribe “management” for making my decision to come to another game this year easy.

I think this is a great move. As for “giving up” the season, the fact that they can’t score any runs for any of their pitchers and that there’s no way CC would not take more money somewhere else after this season is not “giving up.” It’s being realistic. 14.5 games behind in the Central and there’s no way the WC is not coming from the East means the Indians’ chances are far too slim. I also like this because if we can get something for Blake (who I like) it means we can give Marte the rest of the year to prove himself or see-ya. I still think this team will be a contender for a few years, but this year injuries and poor offense just did them in.

Wow, I don’t understand how you guys can be so negative. What do you expect the Indians to do? Give me one reason to think the Indians have a chance this year. They’ve lost 11 of 14 while the rest of the division is winning five games a week! They’re more than a dozen games out, and it’ll only get worse.
Tell me the last time a prime-time player has been traded for current Major League talent for just a THREE MONTH RENTAL. Never. I think this trade looks good for the Indians. There’s nothing that can be done about this season, so let’s look forward to next season.
One of you said: “It is becoming harder and harder to be an Indians fan anymore. I can’t even watch them on TV, since they are so painful to watch.” What about last year? How can you completely ignore a year in which the team was one win from the World Series? Just because they’re having a rough year with a SLEW of injuries, you give up?
And yes, we do need another OF/1B. How well are our OF/1B doing right now? They’re average. If you have a payroll that will never rival teams like Boston and New York, then you stockpile average talent in a hope that one becomes great. Changes need to be made, and hopefully LaPorta is a start.

This isn’t being negative – just realistic. Until the Dolans get rid of Shapiro, Wedge, and Willis, we’ll have nothing !! It has to change from the “top” down – – -

One more thing, name a team that’s been consistent enough to go deep into the playoffs year after year with a nonexistent payroll. The Twins and Braves have proved that it’s possible to compete year in and year out, but the Braves won just one World Series during their division-winning streak. I’m pretty sure the Twins have won just 1 or 2 playoff series since they won the WS in the early 90s. I’m confident that the Indians will compete next year is Hafner, Victor and others don’t have the worst season of their careers. I’m not expecting Victor to hit 30 homers and Hafner to hit .315, but if Victor hits 20, Hafner hits .290, then they’ll be competitve in ’09.
Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can pay for players that are great and consistent, so that’s why they’re ALWAYS around the playoffs. If the Rays have a few injuries and inconsistencies next year, they’ll be just like the Indians of this year.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I do have to say, I think some people are being too negative, and too hard on Shapiro and Wedge, who I think a lot of people have not liked from the beginning, and they only look at the negatives, instead of the positives. I know a team shouldn’t make excuses, but can you really blame Shapiro/ Wedge for Hafner, Martinez, Carmona and Westbrook? I also think it’s too early to give up on Hafner, the guy has been playing with a bum shoulder for probably a year. The question is can he fix the shoulder, or is his body never going to be the same? And again, if he is hurt for good, can you blame Shapiro for that? While I would have loved for the Brewers to have included someone like JJ Hardy, I understand that is giving up a lot for a three month rental. I understand Cleveland sports fans have some reason to be, but so many of them are incredibly pessimistic. If this team is a sub .500 team for the next 3 seasons, than fine, fire Shapiro and Wedge and start over. But if we win the World Series next year, all this complaining was irrelevant. As well, while it sucks to have to look forward to 2009, that’s just how it has to be, and I accept it. I am still going to watch every game this year that I can, and root for the Tribe, because I am not a fair weather fan. But also, people complaining about 2009, don’t even know the makeup of that team. Hopefully the rotation will be anchored by 19 game winner Carmona, and possible Cy Young winner Lee, there may be new faces at almost every spot in the infield (if some shuffling goes on i.e. Peralta to third, Asdrubal to second). There will probably be a different look at one of the corner spots in the outfield, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Indians go after another starting pitcher, since Sabathia and Byrd will be gone, as well as some bullpen help, including an established closer. 2009 is a long ways away. It is way to early to be calling for firings of Wedge (2007 Manager of the Year) and Shapiro (Multiple timed Executive of the Year), the year after they lead a team to 96 wins and a win away from the world series. How quickly we forget I guess. The only other thing I would say is that this move was obviously the last thing the Inidans wanted to do, and only two things could have stopped it. One, CC could have taken $80+ million and stayed in Cleveland, and make more in one month than I will probably make in my entire life, or the ballclub could have stayed healthy and won ballgames. Those things didn’t happen, and Shapiro did what any intelligent General Manager would do.

A power hitting OF is exactly what we need, I think. Dellucci is terrible, and guys like Gutierrez, Choo, and even Francisco have not shown that they are anything more than part-time players. And we don’t have much in the way of outfield prospects in the system. Trevor Crowe is probably the best, but he’s probably not much more than a good 4th outfielder. As for first basemen, Mulhern is hitting .250 at AAA (and is 27), and Brown really doesn’t have the power to be a major league 1B (3 HR in 257 AB).

And I think that people who are upset that we “only” got some prospects are being extremely short-sighted. You’re not going to get established major leaguers (not good ones, anyway) for a three-month rental player. The reason the Bartolo Colon trade worked out so well in the long-term is precisely because the Indians took a chance on guys like Sizemore and Lee (and Phillips, if we had stuck with him). LaPorta is close enough to being ready that he could help us next year, which means that competing next year is still a possibility with some tweaking and players staying healthy and performing a little better than they have this year. I’m honestly impressed that the Indians were able to get someone like LaPorta, considering that the Brewers’ will almost certainly not resign Sabathia. If he works out (and I think the chances of that are pretty good), we’ve got at least 6 years of him. I think that’s worth 3 months of C.C. Sabathia in a failed season.

And as for Green, he’s only 21 and was the Brewers minor league player of the year last year, so let’s not sell him short. Also, I hear the Indians want to move him to 2B. We could really use a good middle infield prospect. Even if he does end up at 3B, he’s still a decent backup plan if Wes Hodges doesn’t pan out (because Andy Marte is clearly a bust).

Okay, a team:

1. Loses it’s 2nd and 3rd starter to injuries early in the season.
2. Loses it’s 3rd and 4th hitter in the line-up early in the season.
3. Has a star player determined to test free agency at the end of the year unless you are willing to throw a 6 year/120 mil. plus contract at him.

Now:

In what way is any of this the fault of the team’s Owner, G.M. or field Manager.

The smart play was to get more than 2 draft picks in exchange for said free-agent to be.

Don’t beat the Dolan is too cheap drum. You wanted Westbrook and Hafner extended. You got it. Both got hurt. It happens. That’s base ball.

Does anybody really want to give a 6 or 7 year contract to a pitcher? Really? Isn’t there another former Cy Young pitcher somewhere out west stinking it up on a 7 year deal. Haven’t the likes of Schmidt and Hampton taught you guys anything?

Every great ballplayer who ever played the game was once a minor league ball player. I think if the deal is LaPorta, Bryson and, presumably, Green (forget the throw-in) it’s a decent deal and much better than accepting a couple of draft picks. And as far as giving up? When many of your best players are hurt, your team can’t score and you’re 14 games back at the all star game, you regroup for next year. If you can’t be as rich as the Yankees, you have to be smarter.

Another point related to the previous comment: For anyone saying that Dolan is too cheap, I’d point out that late last season, when we had one of the best teams in baseball, we were still having trouble filling the park more than half way for many games (especially weeknights). It’s hard to argue that they should throw money around like the Yankees when there’s no evidence that fans will show up even if they do. That, not the perceived difference in their willingness to spend money, is the biggest difference between the Jacobs and Dolan years.

And yeah, I will be shocked if Sabathia is healthy and worth what he’s being payed for the duration of whatever contract he ends up signing. I love the guy, and I wish him the best, but pitchers get hurt all the time, and signing them to such long contracts is almost never a good idea.

I once ran into a guy who was wearing a diamond-studded (possibly fake diamonds, but whatever), NY Yankee watch. I asked him if he was a fan, and he replied that he bought the watch when he first moved to the US because he liked the logo. People overseas will often associate the NYY logo with New York City itself. Point? New York has more money than us, and they’re raking it in with more than just ticket sales.

Even there, they’re beating us. By a lot.

Fans need to spend money. We should buy merchandise, buy tickets to the games, go support our team. It’s our responsibility, too – not just Dolan. Break it down and he’s there to make money – but so is any other owner of any other team. If our attendance broke 40,000 every game again, maybe we could start paying players again. I go to every game I possibly can. What do you do?

Here’s my real question, though: it the PTBN isn’t Brantley and it isn’t Green, and whoever it is was ‘key’ to the deal, who else could it be?

I seriously hope CC gets hurt when he tries to run his fat *** around the bases pl;aying in the NL. Seriously, he is foolish for holding out for the big money he could have had earlier this year. I HOPE HE NEVER SEES ANOTHER NICKEL in compensation while he plays the “game”.

CC will be the next stupid contestant on “DEAL or NO DEAL”

Very intelligent post. You make me proud to be an indians fan.

I agree that it is better to get something rather than nothing, but I still have to argue that it really isn’t the Indians’ fault, it is C.C.’s and the system. In the long run, what is the real difference between 72 and 80 million? 8 million dollars is, in ways a lot of money, but once you get above a certain point, it becomes negligible. Any player who leaves for the green and then apologizes that he loved his teammates, the fans, and the city and didn’t want to go annoys me. With C.C. we weren’t talking about 10 million bucks versus 20, we were talking about a ten percent difference. Baseball needs a salary cap, and after whatever strike or lockout takes place, regardless of how long it lasts, the sport will be better off. Unlike the NHL, there are no leagues that can be created or pay exorbanant salaries in Europe or else where. Some players would surely jump to Japan, but we have to realize that both the players and the fans there would not really allow this to happen because then the integrity of their game goes down and what are they going to do with their rosters? The cap would make every team competitive, and would alter the demands on the front office and the developmental skills needed to win every year. With a cap, C.C. would still be an Indian, more fans and families could afford to go to games throughout the country every night, and we would have an all around better league.

in regards to having issues with wedge: i state this fact and this fact alone. he pitched joe borowski and pitched him for way too long. now in my book “a game” is way too long. but, he went well past that and pitched him for a while.

and whoever can say whatever they want but having the AL’s leader in HR’s batting leadoff is straight ridiculous. in no way can anybody explain to me how that makes sense.

i dont know. i understand your argument of “how you gonna blame the manager” when we have the injuries that we have. but at the same time i dont know if wedge gets the award for greatest decision maker this year either.

C.C. will get more than 80 million. I get the impression that he didn’t have a problem with the $18 million per year figure, but he wanted more years. He’ll probably get some team to give him well over 100 million, which makes it a much bigger difference. Given how easy it is for pitchers to get injured, it’s hard to blame Sabathia for wanting the security of a longer contract. It’s stupid for teams to offer contracts like that, but if someone is willing to offer 6 or 7 years, I really can’t fault him for taking it. Much like when Thome left, I think his concern is more the length of the contract than the yearly salary.

To the person who said we should fire Carl Willis… umm.. why? Fielding a top rate starting rotation despite #2 & #3 starters down doesn’t seem like it should cause someone to lose their job.

And to those who want Wedge’s head, consider this. Wedge is a typical hands off manager. He guides the players in the right direction and forces them to own up for their shortcomings and allows their praise in success. He can’t hit the ball for them.

And for those who want Dolan to field higher paid talent, go to the damn ballpark. I’m a college grad who’s unemployed and I still use the little money I have saved to go to games when I can. If you won’t stay behind the team when they’re struggling then don’t get behind them when they’re winning. You all sound like a bunch of whiney, pissy eastcoast fanboys. Get real.

Hey csusi@juno.com, who should be batting lead off? There’s no one on this current roster that is a better lead-off hitter than Sizemore. As Wedge has said many times, why take away a strength of him in the lead-off spot just to put him at No. 3? People need to get on base for Sizemore whether he’s No. 1 or 3 in the order.

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