There have been vague assertions and thin rumors that the Chicago Cubs had yet to move pitcher Ted Lilly because they were asking for the moon. Given that Lilly is on target to be a Type A free agent this year, who would net the Cubs two first round picks if they offer him arbitration and he signs elsewhere, it’s understandable that they’d be asking for a healthy return.
But are they asking too much? Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland recently implied that the Cubs have been asking for an arm and a leg for Lilly.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was asked about two of the hottest names in trade-deadline talks — Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell and Chicago Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly — and insisted he has not heard their names mentioned and expected that president and general manager Dave Dombrowski would consult him if something was imminent.
“I’ve not had any discussion about either one of those players with anybody that is important,” Leyland said before Saturday’s game against Toronto. “I’ve heard a couple players a couple weeks ago, and I haven’t heard anybody since.”
Leyland said he and Dombrowski have not spoken about specific players in trade talks in two weeks.
He did concede that things usually loosen as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches July 31, saying “from what they tell me, they usually ask an arm and a leg early on, then maybe as you get a little closer, just a leg, as you get a little closer to that, maybe a little less.” Detroit Free Press.
That makes you wonder, will the Cubs reduce their demands for Lilly this week? Or will they take their chances on arbitration after the season? The undiscussed rub there? If Lilly accepts or the Cubs sign Lilly to a long-term deal, what happens tot he rotation next year when guys like Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson, Casey Coleman (and dare I say, Jeff Samardzija) are ready to compete for a starting spot? Would the Cubs risk losing Lilly to open up a spot for one of those guys?