ARLINGTON -- Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of one of the biggest trades in Tribe history -- the deal that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers for a package of four Minor Leaguers.
With Sabathia, a workhorse in the front of their rotation, the Brewers reached the postseason for the first time in 25 years, only to be bounced in the first round by the Phillies. Sabathia left in free agency, and the Brewers did not receive any first-round Draft pick compensation for him. They did, however, receive two second-round picks, and they used them to take outfielders Kentrail Davis and Maxwell Walla.
The Indians are just now getting a real gauge on what they acquired, as Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta (once he's recovered from Monday's head contusion) are getting their first legit opportunities to play every day at one position. LaPorta is batting .242 in the big leagues this season but .333 with four homers since his recall from Columbus on June 27. Brantley is 1-for-his-last-18 in the Majors this year.
LaPorta said he doesn't feel added pressure to live up to the hype of being a high-profile trade acquisition.
"At the time [of the trade], I did," he said. "But not now. I think people have already pretty much forgotten about it."
The Indians also received right-handed reliever Rob Bryson, who had shoulder surgery in 2008 and is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 11 appearances since a recent promotion from Class A Lake County to High-A Kinston. Left-hander Zach Jackson, considered a throw-in at the time of the deal, made 12 appearances for the Tribe over the '08 and '09 seasons and is now in the Blue Jays' farm system.