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Matt LaPorta Rumors
Let’s round up today’s C.C. Sabathia links in a fresh post.
- The Brewers’ trade for ace pitcher C.C. Sabathia is official. As a reminder, the Indians will receive Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Zach Jackson, and maybe Taylor Green. Paul Hoynes says Michael Brantley could end up the player to be named later instead of Green. Ken Rosenthal suggests Lorenzo Cain may also still be possible. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo analyzes the prospects received by the Indians.
- Here’s an interesting link. This is apparently the blog of agent Joshua Kusnick of Double Diamond Sports Management. Among others, Kusnick represents Cain, Brantley, and Green. He says Green hasn’t been informed of anything but seems more likely to be included than Brantley.
- Yahoo’s Jeff Passan calls the package of players an "OK haul."
- ESPN’s Keith Law agrees, suggesting that Mark Shapiro should’ve held out for a higher probability return. He sees Bryson as the key to the deal. The 20 year-old is a projectable live arm.
- Joel Sherman says the Brewers aren’t done – they want to add a late-inning reliever as well.
- Indians owner Paul Dolan explains the Sabathia trade in a letter to fans.
- Rosenthal has details of other teams’ attempts to acquire Sabathia. He says the Dodgers wanted the Indians to package Sabathia with Casey Blake. Surprisingly, the Yankees were "very heavily involved." They did not want to give up Phil Hughes, however.
- Most articles seem to assume that the Brewers have no chance of signing Sabathia. I agree that it’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out. We’ve read repeatedly that Sabathia does not intend to chase every last dollar. What if he loves Milwaukee and he leads the team deep into the playoffs? The Brewers could let Ben Sheets and Eric Gagne leave and put that money toward a competitive five-year Sabathia offer. It’s not out of the question.
Also, Rosenthal has commentary on the deal, explaining that "in baseball’s new-world order, prospects are power." The ability to draft brilliantly could trump payroll as a competitive advantage.
7:59pm: ESPN’s Buster Olney chimes in, citing sources that say the teams have agreed in principle to a deal. Sabathia himself sent a text message to ESPN’s Amy Nelson implying the same. All signs point to Sabathia making his Brewers debut on Tuesday, with an official trade announcement tomorrow.
By the way, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has sources saying LaPorta and Green are in the deal.
6:29pm: MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince talked to Indians GM Mark Shapiro, who said "it is definitely not a done deal." We don’t know whether that comment refers to the standard physical, or something more. Meanwhile, Scott Miller says the deal is all but done.
6:05pm: Haudricourt says the Indians and Brewers have reached an agreement on a Sabathia trade. The Brewers will send LaPorta and two lower level minor leaguers to Cleveland for the southpaw ace.
5:53pm: Haudricourt checks back in, stating that a deal is nearly complete. The Brewers will send LaPorta and two other minor leaguers in exchange for Sabathia. One of them could likely be Class A third baseman Taylor Green, but the other will not be Lorenzo Cain, Mat Gamel, or Alcides Escobar. Cain has been promoted to Class AA Huntsville, likely to take LaPorta’s place on the roster.
The Brewers are insisting that the deal be closed tonight, in order to allow Sabathia to arrive in Milwaukee in time to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.
5:41pm: LaPorta is absent from tonight’s game in AA Huntsville; Alcides Escobar is not. Definitely a sign that LaPorta could be on the move and a deal is getting closer to completion.
4:50pm: Tom Haudricourt tells us that the Brewers and Indians are still in "heavy negotiations." Haudricourt notes that with the Indians having a day off tomorrow, it makes an ideal time for a press conference to announce a big move. Additionally, he reiterates that the Brewers should try to get the deal done in time to have Sabathia make his next scheduled start in a Brewers uniform.
3:54pm: Jon Heyman weighs in on the impending Sabathia deal, stating that the Indians have been trying to pry top shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar away from the Brewers as well. Heyman re-affirms that the Brewers would like a deal complete as soon as possible, in order to get two starts from Sabathia – one Tuesday and one Sunday – before the All-Star Break.
No mention of the unconfirmed report of the deal being completed from Heyman just yet.
3:15pm: Anthony Castrovince from MLB.com takes Rosenthal’s rumor one step further, citing a "Major League source," that says a trade with the Brewers and Indians for C.C. Sabathia has been "completed." If correct, the trade is indeed centered around Double-A outfielder Matt LaPorta, though the other two prospects are not yet named.
Further updates as soon as they are available.
1:58pm: Ken Rosenthal writes that the Dodgers are officially out of the C.C. Sabathia sweepstakes, meaning that the Brewers could be extremely close to securing a deal to bring the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner to Milwaukee.
Rosenthal says that the Rays and Phillies are still in the race, but are also likely unable to top the Brewers’ offer, centered around Class AA outfielder Matt LaPorta. Rosenthal points out the Indians’ strong need for power in the future and LaPorta’s 20 HR and 66 RBI in AA Huntsville. According to Rosenthal, Cleveland will also receive two more prospects from Milwaukee in the current offer. Taylor Green and Lorenzo Cain were mentioned previously on MLBTR.
Continuing with Tim’s new tradition, here’s my take on some of the top rumors of the week from June 29 – July 6:
- The C.C. Sabathia sweepstakes is nearing an end, with the Brewers’ Matt LaPorta package being the frontrunner. We’ll let everyone know the full story as soon as possible.
- The Phillies extended Brad Lidge to a three-year contract. Lidge looks like his old self – great deal for Philadelphia. Looks like this means Brett Myers will remain in the rotation if he can get back on track.
- We heard a lot about the Rays’ growing interest for Colorado closer Brian Fuentes. They could be preparing an offer. Troy Percival has been good, but injury prone, and you almost hate to move Dan Wheeler from the eighth inning where he’s been so good all year.
- The shortstop market is hot, as the Dodgers, Orioles, and Jays would all like to upgrade. The Dodgers are interested in Jack Wilson, while the Orioles are looking at David Eckstein and possibly Juan Uribe or Felipe Lopez. The Jays could look to move A.J. Burnett and his contract for an upgrade there as well. Interesting that Toronto wants an upgrade over Eckstein, while Baltimore looks at him as an upgrade…
- The Indians finally cut Joe Borowski loose, designating him for assignment. Was this too little too late? They tried to sneak Craig Breslow through waivers earlier this year. I’m guessing they’d rather have the 1.42 ERA he’s posted this season than Borowski’s 7.56, but the Twins are enjoying Breslow’s benefits.
- Could the Angels add Matt Holliday? Seems unlikely with the stockpile of large contracts they already have in their outfield if you ask me.
- The A’s signed Michel Inoa for $4.25MM on Thursday.
- The Padres will be sellers this July. The onslaught of injuries have made this a frustrating season for San Diego. If you’d been able to see Adrian Gonzalez‘s monster numbers through July 1 before the season started, who would’ve believed this team wasn’t contending? Wow.
- For those who are interested, Tim looked at this past years’ offseason moves and compiled an All-Star lineup of free agent hitters signed prior to the 2008 season. That’d be a heck of a team to try to beat right now…
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Burnett | Brad Lidge | Brian Fuentes | C.C. Sabathia | Cleveland Indians | Craig Breslow | David Eckstein | Felipe Lopez | Jack Wilson | Joe Borowski | Juan Uribe | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Holliday | Matt LaPorta | Michael Ynoa | Milwaukee Brewers | Oakland Athletics | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Tampa Bay Rays
- Olney says the Brewers restructured their offer today. That offer is believed to include Matt LaPorta plus lesser prospects. Haudricourt suspects those prospects might be Taylor Green and Lorenzo Cain. Haudricourt says the Indians have the Brewers’ offer in hand and Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin is waiting to hear back. Olney says the Brewers are looking at some Plan B starters in case they don’t win the Sabathia sweepstakes.
- Olney also has the Rays, Dodgers, and Phillies in the Sabathia talks. Those teams all have their issues. The Rays may not have the motivation, the Dodgers are being vague about who’s available, and the Phillies’ best talent is at the lower levels.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwakee Journal Sentinel the team is in pursuit of C.C. Sabathia and has an offer on the table.
Haudricourt thinks the Brewers’ offer includes top prospect Matt LaPorta, minor-league third baseman Taylor Green and probably another prospect, perhaps outfielder Lorenzo Cain, but Melvin would not specify which players are included in the offer.
Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro doesn’t plan to overhaul his team before the trade deadline or in the off season but, according to Melvin, he’s listening to offers from other teams for Sabathia.
"Cleveland is in control of this, not us," said Melvin, who wouldn’t reveal the names of players he has on the table. "They told us they’re talking to other clubs, too. You never know how these things are going to work out.
"I’ve talked to Cleveland. We’ve discussed players. They’re trying to make the best deal they can. At least we’ve got players they’re willing to discuss. But I don’t anticipate anything happening in the next couple of days."
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Rumors? Comments? Email me alexo05 (at) umpbump (dot) com.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have jumped into the fray for C.C. Sabathia. They don’t have a Matt LaPorta-caliber prospect, but they could make a substantial three-player offer. The Dodgers, being a big market club, could try to sign Sabathia before he hits free agency.
Rosenthal says the Dodgers are simultaneously pursuing Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson. He might require some of the same prospects, so L.A. probably can’t get both Wilson and Sabathia. Since Wilson is signed for ’09, such an acquisition might allow the Dodgers to let Rafael Furcal walk as a free agent. Based on Ned Colletti’s comments to MLB.com, he seems willing to let some talent go to get a regular shortstop.
On the Brewers-Sabathia front – LaPorta is in play, but if he’s included Alcides Escobar is out. The Brewers do not plan on offering up J.J. Hardy (Tom Haudricourt agrees). Rosenthal talked to some baseball people who believe Sabathia will be traded before his Tuesday start.
10:45am: Haudricourt explains why he thinks the Brewers could and would acquire Sabathia. Haudricourt wonders if the Crew will make a knockout offer right now rather than be forced to wait until the deadline. It could be a difference of four extra starts.
The Brewers would not, however, offer both LaPorta and Escobar.
FRIDAY, 8:17am: Most people assumed the Brewers would not part with last year’s 7th overall pick, left fielder Matt LaPorta. However, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers’ offer for Sabathia does include LaPorta and may include shortstop Alcides Escobar as well. The feeling is that the Brewers would be reluctant to include both players, but maybe the Indians could chip in another player.
LaPorta is the big, centerpiece type name I imagine the Indians crave…if the Brewers are willing to trade him they’re the clear frontrunners. Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt has his doubts that both LaPorta and Escobar would be offered.
THURSDAY, 8:14pm: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a new post up with some buzz around the Brewers’ possible pursuit of C.C. Sabathia.
Haudricourt confirmed with GM Doug Melvin that the Brewers had a scout watching Sabathia last night. Haudricourt adds that the Indians reportedly scouted Brewers prospect Taylor Green as well as their stacked Double A team.
This info gels with something Buster Olney wrote this morning:
Heard this from rival talent evaluators: The Indians have dispatched scouts to watch the minor leaguers of teams that might be interested in Sabathia, and those talent evaluators expect the Indians to begin presenting proposals to other teams for the left-hander very soon, perhaps at the beginning of next week.