Should the Milwaukee Brewers Be Going After C.C. Sabathia?

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers are 46-39, which puts them in third place in the NL Central. They are two games behind St. Louis and 4.5 behind the division-leading Cubs.

The Brewers are exactly where they should be: seven games above .500 and in contention to win the division.

Should Doug Melvin and Co. really make a push for the big 6'7", 290-pound southpaw? The move definitely has its ups and downs.


The Ups

Sabathia would give Milwaukee a great one-two punch with ace Ben Sheets, as the Brewers make a push for the playoffs. It would certainly be one of the best one-two combos in baseball. The rotation would be Sheets, C.C., Soup, McClung, and Parra; not bad at all. 

Plus, he would provide the rotation with another good left-handed arm, as Manny Parra has really stepped up and filled the void left by Chris Capuano. Capuano had season-ending Tommy John surgery, for the second time.


The Downs

Trading for Sabathia might result in Milwaukee giving away their two best prospects in outfielder Matt LaPorta and shortstop Alcides Escobar. LaPorta has already been compared to Ryan Braun, and Escobar is said to have better defense than J.J. Hardy.

If the Brewers can replace one of those players with someone else, then the deal might be worth it. But if they have to part with both of them, then I say nay.

Sabathia wouldn't be a solution for the Ben Sheets free-agent situation, who figures to sign with another team in 2009. He would be put in the same boat.

Sabathia would also be a free agent after this season. Are the Brewers going to get him for just two or three months of service? It's unlikely he would re-sign with Milwaukee since he's asking for a huge contract.


If the Crew was to get Sabathia, and he in turn signs with another team for '09, it would still help the Brewers out. Milwaukee would get two compensation picks in the '09 draft, as Sabathia classifies as a Class-A free agent (that goes in the 'ups' category, I suppose).

Also, if Ben Sheets were to sign with another club, the Brewers would get two picks for him. So Milwaukee could end up with six picks in the first two rounds of the '09 draft, like they did in '08.

So again, should Milwaukee be going after C.C. Sabathia?

Only if they have a real shot at re-signing him for the 2009 campaign and beyond. Otherwise, I say let him go elsewhere. There are many more pitchers on the market.

Most of them will come cheaper than Sabathia and have very similar results. However, I bet none of them have ever won the Cy Young.