When the Los Angeles Angels acquired Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks, most assumed their pursuit of a starting pitcher was at an end. And they almost certainly would have been right.
But then yesterday, Joel Pineiro suffered a left oblique strain that will keep him out for the next six to eight weeks – a critical stretch for a team trying to catch the Texas Rangers in the AL West. While Pineiro had regressed from his (over-his-head) season with the (voodoo magic) Cardinals last year, he was eating a lot of innings, and had a very respectable 4.18 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Surely the Angels would like to replace that production if possible.
So what about Ted Lilly?
Lilly makes sense in a trade to the Angels not only because he’s one of the top remaining starting pitchers on the trade block, but also because the Cubs and Angels have already talked trade this year. The teams recently worked out a trade for first baseman Derrek Lee before Lee invoked his no-trade rights, putting a kibosh on the deal. Why does this matter? It means the Angels have prospects/players that the Cubs like – and that the Angels are willing to trade. Lilly would likely take more to get than Lee, but the foundation may already be laid for a deal with the Angels.
If the Cubs haven’t heard from the Angels already, they should consider giving them a call. But, you know, try not to sound desperate.