What should the Indians do with C.C. Sabathia?
They have 3 options;
1. Trade him now to avoid losing out completely when he files for free agency.
2. Wait and see how the Indians perform as they attempt to recapture the Central Crown and if they begin to fail, trade him then and avoid the free agency loss.
3. Continue to try to sign him and build on the team’s future successes beyond the 2008 season.
It appears that Indian’s general manager Mark Shapiro is resigned to pursue C.C. and keep him in Cleveland. Other past stars have indicated that they wanted to stay in Cleveland but were swept away by the lure of long contracts with top dollars. What will it truly take to sign C.C. and keep him here? Can the Indians mortgage the future and keep C.C. from free agency?
The fans that care to write in to the local paper or voice an opinion are calling for an immediate trade of C.C. They believe that something now is better than nothing later. Most of the area sports writers seem to agree that the Tribe brass should wait and see how the season goes and if not in contention, put C.C. on the trading block.
The Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto however feels that the Indians can sign C.C. and that they should continue down that road. This is a bit of a courageous stand and certainly against the grain of his peers.
Many fans feel that, although C.C. has indicated that he would like to remain with Cleveland, that it will not happen and we will be left once again with nothing. You can’t help but read into that the “Poor Me” syndrome that seems to dog Cleveland sports fans.
Perhaps Shapiro can break the trend of “also rans” in Cleveland sports by hanging tough and signing C.C. Jim Thome left us after pledging loyalty to the city and the Indian’s organization as did others. But that does not mean that it will happen again and that the trend of “Almost Champs” will continue.
Option #1, trade him now, is a sellout of the 2008 season. It will be most difficult to repeat as Central champs vs. the Tigers, Yankees, and Red Sox without C.C. The Twins traded Santana and did nothing to improve their chances for the immediate future, so it appears.
Option #2, wait and see, seems to be the most sound from a business standpoint. The question is, how long can we afford to wait?
Option #3, sign him, is from the heart and this courageous decision could change the future significantly, either way for the success of the Cleveland Indians.
Sign him now and let’s play ball.
Play ball and let’s sign him at the end of the season.
Either way, we are in for a wild ride by rolling the dice…Let 'em ride!