Sunday, July 6, 2008

Matt Laporta Trade Fallout and Projections

Alright folks, the junk has just hit the fan. C.C. Sabathia has been traded to the Brewers for Matt LaPorta and some other soon-to-be-named minor league players. What does this all mean, especially for Brewer and Indian fans?

Sabathia isn't having the same season he had last year, but he'll put a boost in the Brewers rotation that could put them into the playoffs. Since LaPorta hasn't made any kind of impact on the Brewers line up yet, he won't be missed by the major league team, and they have enough young talent and draft picks to fill in the gaps his departure may cause.

For those Indians fans out there wondering who this LaPorta guy is and what to expect from him, I'd project him as a .280-.290 hitter with 40+ home run potential. Think Lance Berkman or Paul Konerko. He won't benefit from the abysmal offensive production plaguing the Indians the season, but his bat in the middle of their line up is definitely a step in the right direction. If he gets a call up this year, here's my projected for 200 and 300 plate appearances...

200 PA
.283 average, 13 home runs

300 PA
.272 average, 21 home runs

In his prime, LaPorta could produce a couple of 50+ home run seasons hitting around .290-.310, while playing average defense in the outfield or hitting DH. He'll provide a lot of inexpensive production, leaving the Indians in a good position to rebuild their line up while their young pitching staff continues to improve.

Overall, it's a pretty fair trade that favors the Brewers in the short term and the Indians long term.

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