One year ago today, the Brewers and Indians officially announced the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee for Matt LaPorta and others. The deal worked perfectly for the Brewers, who made the playoffs thanks to 13 dominant starts by Sabathia, including seven complete games and three shutouts. The Brewers also received two compensation picks for losing Sabathia in free agency, which they used last month to select Kentrail Davis and Maxwell Walla.
The Indians received LaPorta, who has hit well for them in Triple A, putting up a .307/.384/.535 line with 27 extra base hits this year. He struggled in 49 big league plate appearances, hitting .190/.286/.286 with one homer. LaPorta's more valuable than the Davis-Walla combination and should be a contributor on Indians teams for years.
As this blockbuster deal shows, trades are not necessarily a zero-sum game; both teams can benefit from the right move.