We hadn’t gotten to Milwaukee yet in our pre-trade-deadline rundown of what all 30 teams need. But word has just gone forth that the Brewers are shipping prospects to Cleveland in exchange for reigning Cy Young pitcher C.C. Sabathia. This is precisely what Milwaukee needed.
Not only is this a fantastic deal for Milwaukee, it’s a pretty good deal for Cleveland, too. Milwaukee is giving up yet another of their young sluggers who can’t play defense in the person of AA prospect Matt LaPorta—he’s totally superfluous to them, given that they already have Prince Fielder at first and Ryan Braun in left, and there’s not really anywhere else to stick a guy like that on an NL team. Cleveland, currently 14 games out of first and dead last in the AL Central, is getting the pieces it needs to rebuild, and getting them more quickly than if they’d had to settle for the compensatory draft picks they’d have gotten if they’d just let CC walk at the end of the season. Perhaps as soon as next year, LaPorta will jump-start their ailing offense by replacing designated hitter Travis Hafner, he of the .350 SLG (now if only they could find a way to dump his salary). And the Brewers, currently tied with St. Louis for second place and 3.5 games behind the first-place Cubs, are getting the ace starting pitcher they’ve missed since Yovani Gallardo’s freak ACL-tearing accident near the start of the season. They’re giving up prospects, but let’s face it—they have plenty of those to spare. And even if they can’t sign C.C. to a long-term deal at the end of the year, they’ll get compensatory picks for him anyway.
Congratulations, Milwaukee, on making a bold and canny move that is exactly what you need.
And Chicago, watch your back.