Mark Shapiro made his mark when he traded Colon for Philips, Lee, and Sizemore on June 27th 2002. It was a grand rebuilding effort and if he'd had a little more patience with Brandon Philips it might have resulted in a World Series appearance instead of capping with last years collapse to the RedSox in the ALCS.
Now he faces the same scenario with CC Sabathia. He has a better nucleus right now and how he handles this deal might very well determine if the Indians can quickly contend again or continue this years spiral down into the depths of the AL Central.
CC may be my favorite pitcher to watch and I'm watching the rumors with plenty of interest and skepticism. Many on-line commentators have expressed shock that the Dodgers would be interested in bringing in a pitcher like Sabbathia when it would appear that starting pitching is the least of our shortcomings at the moment. I say to them that CC has to be of interest to any team who wants to add an ace for the playoff run. Who do you think would be favored in a short series if you had CC/Billingsley as your tandem? Is starting pitching really a strength for us? The first half numbers say yes, but then I look at our rotation and notice that we have Chan Ho Park and Eric Stults in our current rotation! Schmidt looks terrible in his re-hab starts, and Penny's shoulder is still not ready for him to even throw a bullpen session. Kershaw was okay but that is all, okay. He did what you'd expect from a 20-year-old with command issues. I think we'd be foolish not to look at CC if he is available.
The problem would be that such a trade would not solve our SS problem and would create a 3rd base problem. While those who come up with the rumors put LaPorta on a level higher then LaRoche I don't see why. LaPorta has no position and will most likely end up a DH. LaRoche will give you a high level of offense while playing a premium position.
Any trade scenarios must look at what the team involved needs. The Indians are not ready to give up on Asdrubal Cabrera and whether they flip flop Peralta and Cabrera they already have their keystone in place. This is a team who many picked to win the central, but talk about unrealized expectations. Hafner, Garko, V Martinez, Carmona, Cabrera, Marte, and the whole bullpen have contributed to the unexpected demise of the 2008 Indians. What do they need?
Relief Pitching, Young 3rd Baseman, Better corner outfielders, Starting pitching
Some combination of the following players might be enough. I see players like LaRoche, DeWitt, Broxton, Kuo, Miller, Elbert, Meloan, McDonald, Ethier, D Young, Josh Bell, Hu, and DeJesus.
Ethier, Miller, Josh Bell / LaRoche, Miller, Meloan / DeWitt, Broxton, Meloan
DeWitt, Broxton, D Young / DeWitt, McDonald, Meloan / DeWitt, Elbert, Lambo
Honest I don't see a good fit but I certainly undertand why the Dodgers might be interested. The players the Indians would need are Kemp and LaRoche. I would not be inclined to put either of them in an offer for a 1/2 rental of CC. However if the rumors are true that DeWitt has alot of value then I'd try to get as much for him as I could right now. If we could somehow swing a deal where DeWitt is the centerpiece of the deal with some nice additional components I'd be all over that.
The other part of the rumor is the Jack Wilson side. Jack Wilson would be an upgrade on the trio of terror but actually an offensive downgrade from Nomar. If we trade anything of value for Jack Wilson I'll be disapointed. He is a decent option for a team desperate for a SS but at what cost?