As the saying goes: All good things must come to an end. Rightly so, the Cleveland Indians parted ways with one of their best pitchers in recent history on July 7th, 2008.
As a Cleveland sports fan, the Sabathia Era was a huge part of my life. When he took the mound, there was no stopping his massive fastball and quick thinking. Everytime he pitched, it seemed like the Tribe had a chance to win. Now that he's gone, he's going to be hard to replace. But, the team and the city of Cleveland will move on.
My opinion?: The Indians organization did not get a raw end of the deal, at all. The Milwaukee Brewers traded away a very high end prospect in Matt LaPorta. If the Tribe had waited, two draft picks would be in their hands, thus providing unproven talent. LaPorta, though he strikes out often, will be a contributor to the future of this franchise. He hits for power, gets on base, and plays well defensively at first. Ryan Garko, watch out.
This man left for money. That's all. The Indians, rightfully so, dangled a large amount of cash in front of him. The Dolans, for once, wanted to nail someone down with a large contract. In the end, Sabathia wanted different. Mark Shapiro worked out a rough contract of 18 million dollars a year, for 5 years. Sabathia wanted 6-7 years. I say: Let him go.
He's going to become the richest pitcher in history, and the free agent market will treat him very, very, well. CC Sabathia and his agents know he will get paid well, so why not leave? I understand that completely. But pulling a Jim Thome and saying "I love this town" and then bailing out, is wrong. Treat the fans with respect next time C.C. We've suffered enough.
In the end, The Indians will have to work this offseason and produce some talent. Will Sabathia's spot be replaced easily?
Fausto Carmona is waiting, and so are the 2009 Indians. A fresh start is all they need, and a new era is about to begin.