The Chicago Cubs are looking to trade pitcher Ted Lilly and first baseman Derrek Lee, each of whom is a free agent at the end of this season. The rumor comes courtesy of none other than Peter Gammons.

Although there’s no mention of a possible destination, the Cubs are apparently telling Lilly – and the fans – that they’d like to trade him, and then re-sign him after the season as a free agent. This is, of course, simply a way to placate Lilly – and the fans – but given Carlos Zambrano’s meltdown and Randy Wells’ unpredictable performance, the Cubs may very well want Lilly back in 2011. It is also a way to get Lilly to waive his no-trade clause.

Lilly, who’s owed about $6 million for the rest of the season, should bring a pretty healthy return if traded. Even after being roughed up by the Reds this weekend, he still owns a 3.76 ERA, which was a sparkling 2.53 in June, while averaging 7 innings per start.

Lee is still mired in a season-long slump, and he’s seen his OPS hover around .700, despite his career .865 mark. He’s owed about $6.5 million over the rest of the season.¬†Another hurdle, in addition to his performance, to dealing Lee is his no-trade clause. He’s often said to the media that he doesn’t want to be traded, and that he’s got that no-trade clause for a reason.

  • Willis

    The Lilly idea is a good one if true. I hate to see him not on this team, but if there is a backdoor agreement to re-sign him in the offseason for another couple of years, it gives him a shot at a contender and pleases the fans to know he’ll be back next season.

    As far as Lee, not sure how much value you can get for a .227 hitter who has seemingly lost his power stroke, but I can see him waving his clause for a good trade to a playoff bound team.

  • ed

    It is all about generating value for him, and that is doable. By the time the cubbies have completed rebuilding and are competitive again, Lilly will be way past his prime, so why pine away for him to re-sign and all that when he can be traded for three prospects?

  • Noodleman

    Why stop with Lilly and Lee? It’s time to have a fire sale and let everyone go but Colvin, Castro, and Byrd. If we can get a bag of used jocks for Ramirez, Theriot, Fontenot, Soriano, Soto, and Fukudome, I think it’s worth taking. This season is over, so we should cut our losses and start shopping for some young talent that knows how to hustle and hit. When a team like the Florida Marlins that draws about ten fans per game can win the world series twice in seven years while dismantling the team each time, and the Cubs can’t do it in 102 years, there’s something wrong.

    • Kevin G

      I agree with bagging everyone, but Colvin, Castro and Dempster (because he as a no trade and I just like him). Byrd has trade value for someone like the Rays or Padres. And have you seen the Rays farm system? I want some!

      • ed

        the way brett jackson is burning through the minor leagues, i can see trading byrd for a good 1B/3B prospect

        • jstraw

          Marlon will be attractive to many teams. But we have bad contracts we need to try to unload, we need to find more offense and we have positions we need to shore up. Byrd is is an all-star and he’s not costing us a ton. The only reason he’d be dealt is because we can’t find takers for Fuk and Fonsi. That’s an awful reason to get rid of Byrd. I realize it may have to happen but I hate it.

      • pygreg

        Agreed, Byrd is a valuable trade prospect (maybe our most, behind Lilly). But I’d like to see him stick around at least one more year…assuming we are entering semi-rebuilding and have a lot of youngsters in the next 2 years, I’d really like him to instill his awesome attitudes in the new kids.

        • jstraw

          Absolutely. He’s going to be a terrific coach when he’s done playing someday. You know…Byrd’s future with the team is something I feel I’m going to become obsessive about. He is our best outfielder…he’s got a lot of years left in him…he’s making modest money. He and Colvin need to be 2/3 of our starting OF next season. In my dreams, Ricketts tells his new GM to get what he can for Fuk and Fons and we’ll eat the rest…we’ll up our payroll and not let that hamstring us.Then we limp along waiting for Brett Jackson to come along and stick him in left.

    • ed


  • Tanner

    Also, I think they should keep Ramirez. Yes, he is having a HORRIBLE season, but he will bounce back. He is still pretty young, and who else could play 3rd if he was to be traded?

  • Tanner

    Since I work the overnight, I had plenty of time to think, and what if the Cubs are only about 7 or 8 games out of first. Are they still sellers?

    • Kevin G

      Yes because the are in 3 place.

      • rylan

        What does third place have to do with anything?

        • Kevin G

          Because its harder overcome 2 teams, then one.

  • http://mine chad

    a done bun can’t be undone and the cubs are done.