The Chicago Cubs are now actively shopping pitcher Ted Lilly, and would like to have a deal in place before Lilly’s next start, which is scheduled for Tuesday.

With contenders struggling to find the right match for available starters Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren on the trade market, interest in Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly has stepped up dramatically and a trade could be completed by the end of the weekend, major-league sources said Friday.

Lilly’s trade value skyrocketed after he held the Houston Astros to one run in 7 1/3 innings Wednesday. His next scheduled start is Tuesday in Houston, and sources say the Cubs would like to complete a deal before that outing. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

Before we get too excited, it’s worth pointing out that, if the only reason these “sources” believe a Lilly deal will get done soon is because of other teams’ struggles to acquire Oswalt or Haren, the sources may be a day or two behind the curve. Indeed, teams may not be struggling to acquire Oswalt or Haren as much as is suggested in that article. At present, the Astros have scouted and/or exchanged names with three teams – the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Phillies – so they may be getting close to finding a partner. Haren is officially on the Yankees’ radar, and the teams are reportedly getting close to a deal.

That said, it’s unlikely a traded Haren would affect the Lilly trade market, primarily because the Yankees have never been interested in Lilly. In that regard, taking Haren off the market, to a team that was never going to get Lilly, could actually help the Lilly trade market. Thus, I’m rooting strongly for the Yankees to acquire Haren – and soon.

As for Oswalt, each of the Phillies and Dodgers has been connected to Lilly, at least in small ways. Still, the two most likely Lilly destinations – Detroit and New York (Mets) – are not involved.



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