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News » Sabathia may be available, but for a steep price


Sabathia may be available, but for a steep price


Sabathia may be available, but for a steep price
Here's an idea: C.C. Sabathia for Adam Dunn.

MLB roundup


Wednesday's action


  • Few see Rays top Rangers
  • Quentin leads ChiSox past Tribe
  • Ross paces Reds' rout of Bucs
  • Phils roll over Rox again
  • Giambi powers Yanks over O's
  • Suppan, Brewers blank Braves
  • Cards' Wainwright stymies Astros
  • Mets outlast Marlins in 12
  • Royals lose lead, 10th straight game
  • Cubs rally to sweep Dodgers
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  • Thames powers Tigers over Halos
  • Giants trounce reeling D-backss
  • Nats keep Pads' win streak in check
  • Jays' Halladay outduels A's Harden

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The Indians probably wouldn't do it, not even after Fausto Carmona returns in a month to restore their surplus of starting pitching.

But the concept — pitching rental for hitting rental — merits consideration for a Cleveland team that ranks first in the American League in rotation ERA but only 11th in runs per game.

Dunn, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Mark Teixeira — any of those potential free agents would lift the Indians' sagging offense. Teixeira, the only plus defender, is by far the most appealing. Then again, as badly as the Tribe is going, a little creativity might be required.

Dunn and Burrell would be difficult fits; neither can play right field, and their defensive shortcomings would partly offset their offensive contributions.

Teixeira would not be available unless the Braves were desperate for starting pitching and positioned to deal for a suitable replacement at first base.

Abreu? An interesting thought, considering that the acquisition of Sabathia would give the Yankees exclusive negotiating rights with the pitcher until he reached free agency. But the Indians surely would want more than a fading 34-year-old right fielder for a 28-year-old ace.

Second baseman Robinson Cano, 25, would be more intriguing, but the Yankees can control Cano through 2013 and would not trade him unless they received younger pieces such as left-hander Aaron Laffey and outfielder Ben Francisco in addition to Sabathia. For the Indians, who need young players to balance their payroll, such a deal would be self-defeating.

OK, what about Abreu to satisfy short-term objectives plus one or two of the Yankees' better young pitchers to satisfy long-term needs?

Such possibilities are worth exploring, at the very least.

Trading Sabathia for multiple prospects only would make sense if the Indians fell out of contention, which is unlikely in the surprisingly mediocre AL Central.

But keeping Sabathia, then losing him for draft picks, only would make sense if the Indians looked poised for a World Series run. At the moment, they hardly resemble that kind of a team.

The Indians could almost name their price if they were willing to move Sabathia before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Let their due diligence begin.

The Mets' second choice

The Mets' signing of second baseman Luis Castillo to a four-year, $25 million contract is starting to look like one of the worst moves of the off-season — and all the more curious given that the Mets could have had David Eckstein, a player who would have brought grit, if not quite Castillo's skill set.

Castillo, 32, is hampered by leg and hip problems — problems that were no secret to the Mets, who traded for him last summer, then re-signed him even though he required arthroscopic knee surgery. The Mets made Eckstein an offer — believed to be for four years and more than $20 million — and told him they were willing to increase the money. But they re-signed Castillo before ever getting serious with Eckstein.

A four-year deal for Eckstein, who later accepted a one-year, $4.5 million contract from the Blue Jays, might have been just as problematic as a four-year deal for Castillo; Eckstein, 33, also seems to be wearing down. The second-base market was thin, and the Mets faced competition from the Astros for Castillo. But baseball people still question why the Mets gave Castillo four years.

The 2006 version of Jose Valentin never looked so good.

Those first-place Rays

The Rays' biggest challenge will be keeping their bullpen healthy — particularly closer Troy Percival, who is on pace to make 65 appearances, his highest total since 1998.

Percival, who turns 39 on Aug. 9, missed the second half of 2005 and all of '06 with a right-forearm injury before making a comeback with the Cardinals last season. He mixes his pitches far more than he once did, but he has always had a maximum-effort delivery. Scouts already are wondering how long he will hold up.

The good news for the Rays is that catcher Dioner Navarro is their only hitter performing beyond expectations. At this point, Percival and right-hander James Shields probably would be the team's most worthy All-Stars. If the hitters catch up — as they should — look out.

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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 29, 2008

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