PHILADELPHIA -- If the Phillies had prospect Matt LaPorta, they would have had a much better shot at landing CC Sabathia.
Reacting to Milwaukee's Monday acquisition of the ace lefty, general manager Pat Gillick said he had a feeling the Phillies and all the other suitors were trailing the Brewers in terms of trading chips.
"[Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro] didn't say what club, but said there was a club that was very interested," Gillick said. "We figured it was Milwaukee. If it didn't work out with them, then everybody else was in it. But I think their primary goal was to work it out with the Brewers."
Cleveland landed LaPorta, a top prospect outfielder, and three other prospects for the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, and Milwaukee added a major piece for its postseason run.
The Phillies will turn to Plan B, C and beyond. They have been linked to other starting pitchers, such as Toronto's A.J. Burnett, Seattle's Erik Bedard and Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo. Gillick said Sunday that he felt Philadelphia will have a chance to make an acquisition, and it was "just a matter of the right pieces."
Gillick thought Sabathia would get traded sooner, but didn't feel the market will accelerate now that the biggest fish has been dealt.
"I'm not sure, because there's so many clubs still in it," Gillick said. "Like the [NL] West now, Colorado is closing in, so they're still in it. Teams that might normally be sellers are going to see where they are on July 29."
Gillick wasn't the only one not surprised by Sabathia's destination. Right fielder Geoff Jenkins became familiar with Milwaukee's young talent surplus while with the Brewers.
"That's a bold move, even though it might only be a rental," Jenkins said. "The Brewers have a lot of great players in the farm system. They're scouting has done a tremendous job. They have a lot of talent."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.