Tom Haudricourt, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reports the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a deal to acquire starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Matt LaPorta and two low-level minor league players. The trade is contingent on the exchange of medical records and the completion of some paperwork, which is a formality. Sabathia is expected to make his debut with the Brewers Tuesday, July 8, at home against the Colorado Rockies.
The deal came to a quick close after it picked up steam Friday, July 4. Sabathia should give the Brewers a strong one-two punch at the top of their rotation with fellow ace Ben Sheets, a righty, as they mount a push for a playoff spot this year.
Sabathia, a southpaw, suffered through a slow start to the year, but he has rebounded with a 3-1 record, a 1.89 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in June. For the season, Sabathia has a 6-8 record, a 3.83 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 123 strikeouts in 122 1/3 innings this season.
His early-season struggles might have stemmed from his huge 2007 workload. During his AL Cy Young Award-winning season last year, Sabathia finished with a 19-7 record, a 3.21 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 209 strikeouts in an outstanding 241 innings.
LaPorta, a first-round draft pick last year, has been raking this year for Double-A Huntsville. In 302 at-bats with Huntsville, LaPorta is hitting .288 with 20 home runs, 66 RBIs and 56 runs. The 23-year-old gives the Tribe a solid foundation to complement outfielder Grady Sizemore for the future.
For fantasy purposes, Sabathia should receive a boost playing in front of a better offense and not having to face the designated hitter on a regular basis. His move to Miller Park shouldn't hurt him much as it has had similar offensive numbers to Progressive Field. He's still an elite fantasy hurler.
It is still far too early to look at LaPorta in single-year fantasy leagues; however, he could be a call-up in September to give him a dose of experience with the Indians likely out of the playoff race. If you are in dynasty or keeper leagues, he is a solid pickup, though likely unavailable in deeper leagues.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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