With trade discussions between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners now appearing to be heating up, it adds yet another serious contender in addition to the Minnesota Twins into the mix to acquire starting pitcher Cliff Lee.
The price continues to rise for Lee’s services and the latest reports say the Mariners have called teams asking for two blue-chip prospects plus a third young player in return.
Yesterday, Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweeted that the Mets now like the idea of acquiring lefthanded starter Ted Lilly from the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs are getting more serious about trades, and the Mets like the idea of getting Ted Lilly and the $6 million dollars owed him and giving fewer prospects.
Lilly, 34, is having a solid season and would certainly be a solid addition to the Mets rotation. Though his name may not be as sexy and as attractive as that of Lee, from a statistical standpoint Lilly compares very favorably and would cost the Mets much less in prospects than Lee would.
Additionally, Lilly currently projects as a “Class A” free agent at the end of this season, which means that if the Mets were to let him walk at the end of the season, they can get two first round prospects in return by offering him arbitration. Sort of what the Boston Red Sox did last season with Billy Wagner.
Lilly has a 3.76 ERA in 14 starts for the Cubs this season, and has struck out 64 batters while walking 22 in 93 innings pitched.
While his ERA seems a little high, his excellent 1.10 WHIP suggests that he may have fallen prey to a few extra longballs at Wrigley Field. His numbers could get even better if he were pitching half of his games at Citi Field.
Finally, I like the idea of having three southpaws in Johan Santana, Jon Niese and Ted Lilly in a division that features some of the best lefthanded hitters in the league.