Sabathia Trade Good Deal for LaPorta

Former Gator slugger Matt LaPorta is on his way to Cleveland content in the knowledge that he was the key piece in a trade that involved a Cy Young Award winner. LaPorta heads up a four player package the Milwaukee Brewers gave up for one of the top pitchers in the game today. The trade should be a goods thing both for LaPorta and the Florida Gators.

LaPorta benefits initially because the Indians are likely to move him to his natural position of first base instead of making him chase balls in the outfield. Additionally, look for the Cleveland front office to assign LaPorta to their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, moving LaPorta one step closer to the big leagues. Buffalo's current first basemen have a combined four homers and 32 RBI in 420 plate appearances. By comparison, LaPorta has 20 HR and 66 RBI in just 347 plate appearances for Huntsville in Double-A.

The deal is also good publicity for the Gator baseball program. Florida has not had great success in producing major leaguers who have had huge success in the big leagues, but to have a Gator traded for a star like Sabathia is pretty impressive. As baseball pundits do their research into LaPorta's background they are bound to report to the entire nation that he was twice named SEC Player of the Year. They'll point out that LaPorta is Florida's career leader in HR (74) and his 206 RBI rank second only to Brad Wilkerson (214) currently of the Toronto Blue Jays. It never hurts to have people who cover baseball talking about your school.

It won't be long before LaPorta is taking swings for the Indians in a major league uniform. His talent, drive and power will keep him in the majors for a long time. He'll be joining Wilkerson, David Eckstein, Mark Ellis, David Ross, Ryan Shealy and Josh Fogg in cashing those big paychecks.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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