Sweep overshadowed by trade winds

6 07 2008

UPDATE 07-06-08 9:37pm – Tom Haudricourt has more information as to who is included in the deal.  Apparently, the deal included four prospects.

Matt LaPorta is still the centerpiece of the deal.  That is a big blow, but the minor league system is stacked full of guys that can hit but don’t have a position.  LaPorta is replaceable.

LHP Zach Jackson will be on his way to Cleveland.  My reaction?  You can have him Cleveland.  Perhaps a change of scenery is all he needs.  Jackson has been terrible since coming to Milwaukee in the Lyle Overbay trade.

RHP Rob Bryson is also included in the deal.  Rob is a bright young prospect who has struggled a bit this season with a 3-2 record and a 4.25 ERA in 22 outings.  Baseball America thinks that Bryson has the stuff to be a closer in a few years, but that is still years away.  This loss doesn’t hurt the system too much, especially with the tons of pitchers drafted this season.

The deal still includes a “player to be named later.”  Most believe this is still Taylor Green.  Haudricourt believes the Indians want to move him to second base and need more time to scout him.  If they deem Green unfit for second base, there will be another player involved in the deal.

Don’t worry, Brewers fans.  Doug Melvin didn’t give up too much to get last year’s AL Cy Young winner.  Mat Gamel, Alcides Escobar, Angel Salome, Michael Brantley, Brad Nelson, Zach Braddock, Chris Errecart, and Jeremy Jeffress are all safe.  It feels good to say that.

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It was not the prettiest win of the season, but the Milwaukee Brewers swept the Pirates this afternoon with offensive fireworks.

Too bad the win got lost in the news that Doug Melvin and the Brewers just agreed in principle to a deal with the Cleveland Indians that will send C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee for Matt LaPorta and two lower level prospects.

In case you forgot what happened, let me refresh your memory.

After his 16-game hit streak ended last night on a sacrifice bunt, J.J. Hardy started a new streak in a big way this afternoon. In the bottom of the first, the Brewers shortstop snuck one just inside the right field foul poll to start off the scoring. Rickie Weeks started the game off with a walk, so Milwaukee got out to a 2-0 lead quickly.

The lead grew 4-0 after the first once Ryan Braun hit a solo shot, and Bill Hall continued his fine hitting against southpaws with an RBI single that plated Corey Hart.

All looked good for the Crew. That changed in the top of the second when Jeff Suppan gave all four of the runs right back. Soup did not look sharp tonight. The umpire was squeezing him a bit at the bottom of the zone, but that is no excuse for giving up six runs in three innings of work. When your offense spots you four runs in the first inning, you have to maintain that lead and momentum. It appeared to be a long day in the making after the third inning ended.

The bullpen has been taking a lot of heat lately, but the collective group banded together and shut the door on the Pirates for the rest of the game. Ned Yost pulled Soup after three innings and handed the ball to Mitch Stetter, who pitched two scoreless innings and got the win. The ‘pen came through in a big way today, picking up the team after Soup struggled to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.

Guillermo Mota even looked pretty good. He mixed up his pitches well. The pitch count was quite high for only an inning on the mound, but a scoreless inning should do wonders to help his confidence.

In other news, Ryan Braun is going to be a starter for the NL in the All-Star Game. Congrats, Ryan. You certainly deserve it. You all can also vote for Corey Hart to get the last spot on the squad. Vote, vote, vote!!!

Finally, on to C.C. Sabathia, the newest member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Man, it feels good to say that.

After thinking it over and reading online threads and whatnot, I could not be more excited about this trade for the Brewers. How often can a team get a bona fide Cy Young-caliber pitcher at the trade deadline and not sacrifice anyone completely integral to the team’s future?

Yes, I understand Matt LaPorta is a rare player, but he is blocked in Milwaukee’s system right now. Not to mention, a prospect is a prospect is a prospect. The young man has not proven a thing yet against major league pitching. He may very well be a star in the big leagues, but there are no guarantees. Best take a proven player when given the chance. That is what C.C. brings to the club. He is a proven winner.

It is unclear who the last two prospects are, but one can assume Taylor Green is one of them. The other may be someone like a John Axford or Alexandre Periard. Either way, I firmly believe Doug Melvin gave away more last season to get Scott Linebrink than he is giving away in the C.C. deal, and Milwaukee is receiving much more in return. The 1-2 punch of Ben Sheets and Sabathia is only rivaled by Dan Haren-Brandon Webb in Arizona. That is a legitimate playoff top of the rotation right there.

Finally, it is almost a foregone conclusion that Milwaukee will not be able to resign Sheets or Sabathia after the season. That could secure 5 draft picks through the first supplemental round. That is a draft where the team can restock the minor leagues. Even if Milwaukee doesn’t make the playoffs this season-which would classify the trade as a failure in my eyes-the team still will benefit from the gluttony of draft picks in the 2009 draft.

If nothing else, this trade has thrust Milwaukee into the national spotlight. It will generate massive revenue at the ticket office. I, for one, have already bought my tickets for Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. I did not want to miss Sabathia’s debut as a Brewer. There will be more ticket sales, which will result in more money for the team. More money for the team means more money to spend on free agents or on our own players. If the team makes the playoffs, it will only augment the revenue gain.

The deal is looking better and better for the Brewers, and I am seeing the excitement everywhere I look from Brewers fans. Nice job getting the deal done, Doug Melvin. I, of course, will keep you all up-to-date on who Milwaukee is sending to Cleveland when the information becomes available.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Brewers are tied with the Cardinals for the Wild Card lead. Big day for the Crew all around.

Records: Brewers (49-39); Pirates (40-47)

Hero of the Game: J.J. Hardy

For now, I will assume J.J. is the hero until proven otherwise. There is no human being on earth that is hotter than J.J. right now. Maybe I should get plunked in the helmet like he did in Arizona. It seems to have helped him…

Goat of the Game: Jeff Suppan

You simply cannot, cannot give back runs after your team spots you four runs in the first inning. A veteran pitcher should know that he had the opportunity to take all the wind out of Pittsburgh’s sails right there, but nope. He wanted to leave after three innings instead. If he didn’t have a big contract in his pocket, Soup may be heading to the ‘pen now that Sabathia is on the team.

On Tap

RHP Seth McClung will take on LHP Ubaldo Jimenez at 7:05pm CT at Miller Park tomorrow. The Crew will look to stretch the winning streak to four games, and Seth will try to prove he belongs in the starting rotation. It could be a mini-audition for the big man now that Sabathia is in the rotation.

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6 responses

6 07 2008
Aaron

While you were writing this, things just got way way better… I love scaring the crap out of the rest of the NL Central.

6 07 2008
orville reddenbrewer

These next three months are going to be exciting. It’s tough to part with LaPorta, but the rest of the Huntsville gang remains in tact. It was great just to read all the names you listed out and know that we still got C.C.

Gamel now can move to first if his defense doesn’t progress and we have more than enough time to retool the system if Green’s going to be the other piece. He was years away from the bigs and we’ll have plenty of picks to restock A in the meantime.

Now, who do we drop from the rotation?

Soup has been dismal, McClung has looked like a solid major league starter and Bush is still inconsistent. I say move Bush to the pen, but keep Soup on a tight leash.

6 07 2008
orville reddenbrewer

Oh god. I just looked at the last five starts for McClung/Bush/Soup. I’m going to revise my earlier post and go with Soup to the pen.

7 07 2008
Adam

To me there are two main drawbacks to this trade. First of all we lose LaPorta. I know he is just a prospect, and Sabathia is a top five pitcher when he is on. But it has been exciting waiting for these guys in Hunstville to get called up to the big leagues, and none were more exciting than LaPorta. However, its great that we didn’t let Gamel go as well as others.

The other drawback is this really makes me think Sheets is gone as well. The Brewers clearly recognized that this is one of their few chances to contend. However, its not like we have an old team which is the usual scenario you see for teams who are buyers on rentals at the trade deadline. Sabathia coming over means the front office of the Brewers thinks this is our only chance for a couple years, so it looks like Sheets is on his way out.

I still see our long term prognosis as good, we still have Gallardo and Braun, as long as we re-sign a couple other core guys like Hart and Weeks we should be set for the future.

7 07 2008
Aaron

Here’s the thing Adam, at the end of the season the Brewers will garner the $13 million they are giving Sheets and the $10 million they’re giving Gagne, and that doesn’t include the $4 mil they’re giving Cameron. Suppan is the only real dig against the salary next year, so it’s not inconceivable that the Brewers will sign one of these guys, though I highly doubt it. But the process could be cumulative. Gamel’s bat is major league ready and Prince Fielder could be the best trade chip we have to get a young ace in teh off season. On top of that the Brewers can potentially receive up to four additional first round draft picks if both of the big two leave. This does not say it’s our only shot. It says, we’re ready to win now and think all it takes is one more piece. No one in the NL wants to face this starting rotation and this offense in a five or seven game set.

14 08 2008
Right Field Bleachers » Blog Archive » In the News (7/6) - C.C. Sabathia Edition

[…] Jim at BrewersNation: “How often can a team get a bona fide Cy Young-caliber pitcher at the trade deadline and not sacrifice anyone completely integral to the team’s future?” […]

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