Cubs Notes: Lilly, Derrek Lee, Millwood

After last night's loss the Cubs are 12-16, in fifth place in the NL Central and 3.5 games back of the Cardinals.  The club's OBP ranks fifth in the NL, their SLG sixth, their relief ERA eighth, and their starter ERA dead last at 6.17.  The latest on the team:

  • Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly was "a little puzzled" that the Cubs traded him last summer rather than try to retain him, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.  Lilly said he was "willing to get creative to try and stay," but talks didn't get far before the July 31st deal.  The Cubs shipped out Lilly and Ryan Theriot with $5.158MM remaining on their contracts, but sent $2.5MM to the Dodgers in the deal.  Lilly later inked a three-year, $33MM extension with the Dodgers.
  • The Cubs also traded first baseman Derrek Lee last summer, saving $1.7MM in that deal with the Braves.  Lee told the Tribune's Dave van Dyck he would have returned "under the right terms," but added that Jim Hendry wouldn't have traded him if the GM had wanted him back.  Both Lee and his replacement Carlos Pena are off to slow starts this year.  Talking to Sullivan, Hendry rattled off several new Cubs who struggled in their first month.
  • Minor league signing Todd Wellemeyer, who is recovering from a hip injury, could be in the mix along with Doug Davis to fill in as the Cubs' fifth starter when the spot comes up on May 14th, reported Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday.  Meanwhile Tom Gorzelanny spun a gem against the Giants last night, dropping his ERA to 2.93 through five starts.  The Cubs have missed Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells, though both threw off a bullpen mound Monday and are "making good progress," according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
  • One more note on the fifth starter situation: I'm hearing it's doubtful the Cubs pursue Kevin Millwood.
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