Friday, June 13, 2008

The Rumor Mill: LHP C.C. Sabathia

Yankees Interested in LHP C.C. Sabathia?Tyler Kepner of the New York Times speculates that following the injury to Victor Martinez, the Cleveland Indians will "probably" trade ace left-hander C.C. Sabathia. He states the Yankees will have "strong interest" if Sabathia becomes available.

First of all, there are a lot of IFs there. This is what makes trade rumors so tough (and yet, so fun); no one knows whether there is any truth to a "rumor" until the deal is finalized. That said, let's indulge...

Why would the Yankees deal for Sabathia?

  • He's 27 and he's coming off a Cy Young Season.
  • As Kepner points out, "The Yankees rank last in the American League in innings pitched by their starters, and Sabathia led the league in innings last season."
  • The Yankees are shedding more than $75 million in salaries this winter. They could afford the investment.
  • If the Yankees were to wait until the offseason to sign Sabathia, likely lose a draft pick as compensation.
  • Unable to get two games over .500 since April, a pitcher like Sabathia could elevate them to contention. I mean, I'm a Darrell Rasner fan (hell, he's on my fantasy team - it's a very deep league) but you can't argue with the simple formula: Sabathia > Rasner.
  • Worst case scenario: the Yankees deal prospects for Sabathia and are unable to re-sign him. OK then, now New York is the team receiving compensation picks.

Why not?

  • Sabathia has not posted a Cy Young season this year. He's 4-8 with an ERA of 4.34. He's allowed a .271 batting average against (for perspective: Darrell Rasner has a .276 BAA).
  • General manager Brian Cashman, unwilling to give up prospects this offseason for Santana, has put a premium on prospects. What's changed?
  • According to Kepner, "The Indians would obviously need pitching if they traded Sabathia, and they are also thin in the infield." Do the Yankees suddenly have a dearth of MLB-ready infield talent that I am not aware of? I mean, if Cleveland wants Betemit they could wait until this time next year... he'll be DFA'd.
  • Finally, we're assuming Cleveland is ready to give up; they're mired in third place, 6.5 games back. Well breaking news: the Yankees are are mired in third place, 7 games back.

Conclusion: It would have to be a honey of a deal for the Yankees to make this move (unless of course the Baby Boss demands it). But the Indians are not going to just give Sabathia away. So with all due respect to Yankees Chick, unless the Yankees can make up four or five games on the stampeeding Sox before the All-Star break I say, "leave it alone."


Anonymous said...

i agree. the yankees should only deal for sabathia if a.) the yankees are close in the standings and b.) we dont have to give up our top prospects.

Anonymous said...

Sabathia is an up and down pitcher, never much for consistency- I wouldn't give up much to obtain him........