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.