Taylor Green Rumors
GM Doug Melvin confirmed this evening that the Brewers won’t bid on free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Here are more details on the Brewers, who agreed to terms with Aramis Ramirez and obtained Jose Veras for Casey McGehee today...
- The Brewers have already committed more than expected to the 2012 payroll, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). "We've stretched it well beyond where we wanted to go," Melvin said.
- The Brewers will proceed with Mat Gamel at first base and they also intend to give infield prospect Taylor Green a chance to make a contribution in the Major Leagues in 2012, Haudricourt reports (Twitter links). The Brewers won’t sign a prominent free agent first baseman this offseason.
- Melvin declined to comment on the possibility that Ryan Braun will miss 50 games in 2012, Haudricourt notes. The 2011 NL MVP tested positive for a banned substance and may face a lengthy suspension.
- Ramirez is a reasonable solution for the Brewers, but they'll likely need more to repeat as division champions in 2012, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians made decide on the final player in the C.C. Sabathia trade today. Hoynes says the Indians are leaning toward outfielder Michael Brantley over third baseman Taylor Green. Hoynes reminds us that the Indians have already received Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, and Rob Bryson from the Brewers.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer details an interesting arrangement between the Brewers and Indians regarding the player to be named later in the C.C. Sabathia trade (hat tip to Anthony Castrovince). Hoynes says the Indians get to choose the player if the Brewers make the playoffs; otherwise, the Brewers choose. The Brewers have roughly a 70-80% chance of making the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus.
Hoynes says the candidates include four possible players, with outfielder Michael Brantley and third baseman Taylor Green among them. Baseball America had Green ranked ahead of Brantley heading into the season, but it seems pretty close.
The CC Sabathia trade is complete, but there's still some good info floating about.
- Michael Silverman says the Brewers wanted players such as Michael Bowden, Lars Anderson, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Reddick from the Red Sox in various Sabathia scenarios.
- The Dodgers apparently talked about dealing Matt Kemp and one of Jonathan Meloan/James McDonald for Sabathia, Casey Blake, and Jamey Carroll.
- Baseball Prospectus' Joe Sheehan analyzes the trade.
- Turns out Sabathia prefers CC over C.C.
- The agent for Brewers prospects Michael Brantley and Taylor Green believes both are in play as the player to be named later in the Sabathia deal.
- MetsBlog reports that Mark Shapiro approached Omar Minaya, suggesting the Mets had the necessary players to make a trade for Sabathia. Matthew Cerrone believes the Mets would've had to give up Fernando Martinez and two pitching prospects.
- The Phillies were the Indians' backup plan in case the Milwaukee deal fell through. The Phillies weren't a great fit because the Indians preferred a young power hitter to a young pitcher.
- The Yankees had interest, but the price was too high for Brian Cashman. That price may have included Phil Hughes. The Yanks reportedly required a signing window in any Sabathia deal, also.
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry says nothing's changed for his team.
- Brewers fans are ecstatic to have Sabathia.
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.
- 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.