According to FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal, sources told him the Milwaukee Brewers have offered a package headed by top prospect 1B/OF Matt LaPorta to the Cleveland Indians for starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia. Most die hard baseball fans know LaPorta is one of the minors top power-hitting prospects.
The other player Rosenthal rumors to be involved is SS Alcides Escobar. Most baseball fans have no idea who he is. Simply, he is a great defensive SS on the same Double-A Huntsville team with LaPorta (and soon-to-be top Brewers' hitting propsect Mat Gamel.)
This comports well with what Jayson Stark said on ESPN's Basbeall Today podcast. He reported the the Indians were askign for two or three AA prospects who are considered building blocks. LaPorta's bat and Escobar's skills would qualify.
Tom Hardicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel confirms their is some fire amidst all the smoke. He mentions the Indians have been scouting High A 3B Taylor Green. Like Escobar, this would be another prospect most baseball fans have not heard of. He does say the Brewers would be unlikely to deal LaPorta if Green were involved. This sounds like Brewers' homerism more than solid reporting though.
With Escobar in the orgnaization, the Indians can move current SS Jhonny Peralta's bat. In fact, this could be one way for the Trine to solve their power dearth in the corner OF spots assumign LaPorta' bat plays better at 1B. The question is whether the fielding stats (FCT, ZR, RF) are true. If so, Peralta ranks near the top in the AL and is far and away the top power SS in his league.
Here is what Baseball America said about Escobar and Green in their 2008 Prospect Handbook:
Alcides Escobar, #3: ...played the entire 2007 season at age 20 and thrived during the second half....while finishing strong at Double-A...could play defense in the big leagues right now...has gotten stronger, which has stopped pitchers from knocking the bat out of his hands...When his bat is big league ready, he'll be hard to hold back..."
Taylor Green, #17: ...he broke out in 2007 and Milwaukee named him its minor league player of the year. His tools aren't impressive but he has great instincts and knows how to play the game...has good plate discipline, works the count and takes walks if he doesn't get his pitch...drives the ball well to the gaps but projects to have average power at best...has a Ron Cey-like build and handles himself decently around the bag..."