Sunday, July 06, 2008


A doff of the cap to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt, who has been all over the trade rumors in Milwaukee.

His latest update? It's a rumor no more. Now, it's a done deal, and the Brewers have added a significant chip in their quest for an end to their 26-year playoff drought.

C.C. Sabathia is headed to Milwaukee, pending all the formal paperwork and physicals and such.

I didn't start to follow the Brewers closely until 1985 or so, as the local media coverage in Duluth/Superior was pretty scarce. In 1987, the Brewers finally landed a local radio deal, which gave me the chance to do what a bunch of kids were already doing for Twins games. That, of course, was to have the little portable radio under the pillow so I could listen to games. Man, was it fun doing that!

23 years later, my team is finally a player on the trade market. They are a buyer. Or, more specifically in this case, they're a renter. Sabathia is a free agent after the season, and there's virtually no chance Milwaukee will pony up the $20 million per season it will cost to sign him. Instead, it appears the Brewers will load up on early picks in next June's draft, hoping to continue to keep stocked one of baseball's best farm systems.

Considering how many teams mortgage the future to make deals like this for rental players, the Brewers give up virtually nothing. Yes, Matt LaPorta is a top prospect, and rightfully so (dude can hit), but he's one of a load of All-Star minor-leaguers in the Brewers' system, and with (potentially) five of the top 35 picks next June, the Brewers aren't mortgaging the future. Not in the least.

Instead, they're using one of their great assets to take a shot at a pennant in 2008. Look at how strong the Brewers are at the top of their rotation (Sheets-Sabathia-Parra) and tell me this isn't realistic.

It absolutely is. And it's refreshing to see a general manager (Doug Melvin) and an owner (Mark Attanasio) who are willing to go for it.

The Brewers won big today, taking the lead in the National League Wild Card race. Ryan Braun was announced as a starter for the NL All-Star team. And C.C. Sabathia is becoming a Brewer, even if only for a few months.

Bad things aren't the only things that happen in threes.

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