July 07, 2008
Milwaukee Brerwers general manager Doug Melvin said his team's improved play and the turnout of the fans were big factors in doing the deal that sent prospect Matt LaPorta and three minor leaguers to the Cleveland Indians.
Melvin said he wanted the deal done now so Sabathia could make two starts before the break and get as much out of him as possible.
Melvin just said, "We're going for it," meaning the playoffs. "We felt we needed to go for it at this point. We figure this is a year that gives us a good chance. It was all about now. The club has played well lately," said Melvin. That encouraged me and gave me the confidence to make this deal. We want to take the next step and make sure we have the best chance to get to the post-season. Obviously, the fans, if they don't come out, we don't do this."
Melvin went on to say "it's always tough to give up a young player" but thanked his scouting and player development staff for putting the organization in a position to do the deal. Brewers vice president Rick Schlesinger also just said "the phones have been ringing off the hook" with fans calling to get tickets for the game Tuesday night in which Sabathia make his first start.
"That's part of him coming in here now," said Melvin. "That is important. It's nice to ave him and Ben Sheets at the top of the rotation."