A Deal Completed

Indians choose Michael Brantley to complete Sabathia trade




MILWAUKEE—The Brewers knew the Indians were going to get a really nice prospect to complete the C.C. Sabathia trade.

They also knew a good one would be left behind.

When the Indians finally got around to naming the player to be named in the July 7 deal for Sabathia, they selected outfielder/first baseman Michael Brantley, one of the rising prospects in the organization.

"We both knew it would be a good player," general manager Doug Melvin said. "We have no regrets. C.C. did what we wanted him to do. This is a trade that worked for both sides."

Sabathia pitched the Brewers to their first playoff berth in 26 years, going 11-2, 1.65 in 17 starts. He's eligible for free agency this offseason.

In selecting Brantley, the Indians passed on third baseman Taylor Green, the Brewers' minor league player of the year in 2007. Brantley and Green were the two choices offered to complete the deal that originally sent top prospect Matt LaPorta and a pair of minor league pitchers—lefthander Zach Jackson and righty Rob Bryson—to the Indians.

When the Brewers made the deal with Cleveland, the understanding was that if Milwaukee made the playoffs, the Indians would chose the player. If the Brewers did not make the playoffs, they would select the player to go to Cleveland.

Brantley, 21, was a seventh-round pick in 2005 out of Fort Pierce (Fla.) High and is the son of former big leaguer Mickey Brantley. He played in 106 games at Double-A Huntsville this season, batting .319/.395/.398 with four homers and 28 stolen bases in 36 attempts.

Brantley, who played only four games in July because of an ankle injury, is considered a leadoff-type hitter with little or no power but good speed. The lefthanded batter showed the Southern League's best strike-zone judgment, as he drew 50 walks and struck out just 27 times in 479 plate appearances.

MICROBREWS

• Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who split the season between high Class A Brevard County and Huntsville, replaced Brantley in the Arizona Fall League.

• Green was sent to the AFL to replace third baseman Mat Gamel, who had to withdraw because of an ailing elbow. Green played 114 games with Brevard County, batting .289/.382/.443 with 19 doubles, 15 home runs and 73 RBIs.