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Sabathia Was Nearly a Dodger

Jul 8, 2008 – 12:31 PM
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Tom Fornelli

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Seeing as how CC (no more periods!) Sabathia grew up in California, when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season, odds are he's going to head out to the west coast to pitch somewhere. With that in mind, the Los Angeles Dodgers were interested in trading for Sabathia because they feel they'd have a good shot at re-signing him to a long term deal after the 2008 season.

They nearly had him too, but apparently team owner Frank McCourt just wasn't willing to pull the trigger on the move.
Shortly after the Milwaukee Brewers finalized a trade for reigning American League Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia on Monday, the Daily News learned that sometime in the days leading up to that deal, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt nixed a trade that would have brought Sabathia to Los Angeles, along with Indians third baseman Casey Blake and utility man Jamey Carroll.

McCourt's reason was financial, according to multiple industry sources. But that is a charge McCourt flatly denied.

"It's just totally false," he said. "The players didn't match up, and that's just the way it was.

"Trades are complicated, and (the Indians) weren't just going to give us three players. They were asking for something in return. The point being that in this deal, the give and the get just didn't match up."

What exactly the Indians were asking for in return, no one is saying. Though seeing as how the centerpiece of their deal with the Brewers was Matt LaPorta, and that they want a power-hitting corner outfielder, I'd be willing to bet Matt Kemp would have been part of the deal.

Now considering there are rumors floating around that the Dodgers are thinking of sending Kemp to the Pirates as part of a deal for Jack Wilson, I have a hard time believing that his inclusion in a possible Sabathia trade was the deal breaker. I'm guessing that the real reason that McCourt nixed the deal was financial, and that the Indians didn't want to pay any of the $9 million it would have cost the Dodgers to pay Sabathia, Blake, and Carroll this season.

That figure would have pushed the team's payroll to about $125 million this season, but when you consider adding Sabathia to their rotation would have made them the new favorite to win the NL West, I think it would have been worth it.
Filed under: Sports