I realize Bartolomania is sweeping LGT. But I wonder if a better model for the Sabathia situation may be the Rick Sutcliffe trade of 1984 Mainly, of course, there is the issue of contraction, which immediately makes the Colon trade non-replicable. But I see some other similarities.
For one, Sutcliffe was also in his walk year (he re-signed with the Cubs after the season) and he was about the same age as CC (27, about to turn 28 at the time of the trade).
Also, and this could be significant, Sutcliffe departed the Tribe as part of a package. And I don't mean with Tim Drew. George Frazier, despite the infamy imposed on him in the 1981 World Series, was a pretty decent reliever. And Ron Hassey was a productive player everywhere he went in his long career. I have a feeling that the best CC deals out there could involve a larger package, if for no other reason than to protect the acquiring team if CC bolts.
Finally, the Indians were not a bad team in 1984, or at least they had a nucleus of solid players and some prospects on the brink. After all, the Indian Uprising was right around the corner. It wasn't a blow-up situation like 2002. And this can be seen in the incoming players. Sutcliffe, et. al. didn't bring in prospects that were due to blossom 2-4 years later. Mel Hall was already a regular in the majors. Carter had gotten some playing time and would become a regular in 1985 and a star a year later. I think that's what we're looking for now, a chance to cash in on our nucleus in 2009-2010, rather than an attempt to reload for 2011 and beyond.
I'm not very good at putting together mock trades. But my conjecture is that we're looking less at Sizemore-Lee-Phillips and more at something along the lines of Hall-Carter. And it will be for CC plus somebody and somebody else. (Hassey notwithstanding, I don't think Shoppach is going anywhere.)
When the trade is done, we should know what Shap really thinks of this team. If we get deep prospects, that means he has given up on the core and we can expect to see Peralta and Garko and Gutz and the like heading out of town. If he brings in players like Hall and Carter (circa 1984), then he is still committed to the near future.