(just felt like I had to get my obligatory stupid pun out of the way)
So it’s official, the Tribe traded away a 28 year old, reigning AL Cy Young award winner.
The Tribe picked up four prospects, with the ‘name’ being OF Matt LaPorta, who is currently batting .288 with 20 HRs in AA. They also grabbed two pitchers and the always fun ‘player to be name later’. Now, I have no clue about any of the prospects, but I tend to trust Mark Shapiro when it comes to trades like this (no one bring up the name Alex Escobar, please).
A couple of friends (who support other teams) have asked me if I’m “mad” about the deal. Mad that they traded him at all, mad that they should’ve gotten more, mad that it was with the Brewers…. mad.
Am I mad they traded him? At this point… no. I don’t think you can be. The Tribe is in a complete free fall, two of their three best hitters are on the DL and they definitely ‘broke’ on their make-or-break road trip. Shapiro had to trade C.C., because the longer they lost, the more likely it was he was going to head elsewhere anyways. It’s one thing to take a hometown discount to stay with a franchise that is winning… but when you’re last in the AL Central…
While I’m not mad a Mark Shapiro for making this deal, I am mad at Shapiro for letting it come to this. This team was one win away from the World Series (where I thought they’d be favored over Colorado) and they’re now mired in last place and trading their Number 1 starter for prospects. I always thought C.C. would leave because of more money, I never thought it would be because the front office couldn’t field a competitive ball club.
For instance, while no one thought that the offense would be this bad, it wasn’t a secret that they needed another power bat (specifically a right handed one), for sometime now. I didn’t expect Hafner and Victor to go down (and I expected some kind of return to form from Pronk), but those guys could’ve used some help last year, let alone this season. No help + injuries = lots of 2-1 games. Jason Michaels, Dave Dellucci, Casey Blake and Ryan Garko. Those were the players in the “power positions” to start the season. What? We’re shocked that this team couldn’t score runs?
And the bullpen… I mean, Christ… If Shapiro and manager Eric Wedge actually thought that Joe Borowoski was going to make it through another season armed with only smoke, mirrors and a fastball that tops out at 88 mph, they should be fired on the spot. They absolutely needed to shore up the back end of the pen or at least have some kind of contingency plan in place just in case JoeBo couldn’t replicate last season’s (unlikely) heroics.
What makes this deal somewhat palpable for me is the fact that Sabathia ended up A) in the National League and B) on a small town team. Shapiro didn’t ship the hefty lefty to the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers, C.C. ended up in the land of beer and brats. I’m cool with that. Plus, I’ll get to see the big fella swing the stick every time he starts, so that should be neat.
Though I do have one question, when was the last time the Tribe was on the opposite side of a deal like this? When is the last time an Indians team was having a good year and they added a major talent in a mid-season trade? The closest thing I can think of is Ken Hill in 1995… In the 1990s they were always rumored to be in the running for somebody like Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling or Pedro Martinez, but they never pulled the trigger on a blockbuster in mid-season. They always added auxiliary pieces like Hill, John Smiley or Kenny Lofton Round III.
Just once I’d like to see a Tribe GM say, “fuck it, we’re going for it all this year“. I’m actually somewhat happy for Brewers fans out there. Their team is going for it. Their team just picked up the reigning Cy Young winner.