By Drew Olson Special to Published Dec 10, 2008 at 8:54 AM

The Christmas season is about to take a bleak turn for Brewers fans.

Months after lifting the Brewers to their first playoff appearance since 1982, left-hander CC Sabathia is on the brink of signing a seven-year, $160 million contract with the New York Yankees.

The deal was first reported by the New York Post after Sabathia and his representatives met with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman for the third consecutive day.

The Brewers may have been Sabathia's second choice. They may have been the only other team to make a concrete offer to the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner.

But, they were a distant, distant second.

In a normal year, it would be hard for any club to compete with the Yankees' almost limitless financial resolve. This year, though, it was impossible. The Yankees haven't won a World Series since 2000. They finished out of the playoffs last year. They are being run by Hank Steinbrenner, who is trying to put a stamp on the organization that he inherited from his father, George.

Oh, and they are moving into a new stadium.

Brewers fans knew Sabathia was a rental from the day he arrived in Milwaukee from Cleveland in a trade that sent top prospect Matt LaPorta to the Indians. Sabathia took Brewers fans on an unforgettable joyride last year.

Some will now question whether it was worth it. The immediate question, though, is what will the Brewers do now. 

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.