You might remember that awhile back I speculated as to where my favorite gigantic pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, would end up by season’s end. Surely it would be outside Cleveland, and due in part to my Cubs homerism I speculated he might end up on the North Side.
Well, the news came yesterday that Sabathia will indeed end up in the National League Central. Just not in Chicago.
Sabathia is headed to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league slugger Matt LaPorta, a player to be named later and a couple more minor league players.
Suddenly the one-two combination of Sabathia and Ben Sheets (if healthy) looks quite potent. And once again because of my unabashed homerism I’m going to say Cubs general manager Jim Hendry will make a big deal before it’s all said and done.
But let’s wrap this up with the considerable risk the Brewers are taking. They’re 3.5 games behind the Cubs for first place. Really, that’s no big deal. Easily made up over the course of the season.
Gammons did say, however, that they’re not going to negotiate an extension for Sabathia. Whether that’s Sabathia’s idea or the team’s is unclear, but it does represent a risk.
There’s a chance both Sheets and Sabathia could be free agents at years end (actually, it’s all but assured) and if they both take off and the Brewers don’t go deep into the postseason or make it there at all, the Brewers have purged their minor league system for nothing. That’s no good long term.
Then again, they’re within striking distance and, if the Cubs don’t make any moves, they can definitely chase them down. If the Cubs add a significant arm of their own it will at least make for a very compelling race.