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.
  • Cubs fans, MLBTR has you covered with Facebook and Twitter pages as well as an RSS feed.


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16 Comments on "Cubs Notes: Lilly, Derrek Lee, Millwood"


4 years 3 months ago

Gorzelanny is having a nice little season, but maybe not as nice as that 2.93 ERA would have you believe… His BABIP allowed is just .181 and he’s stranding baserunners at 6 to 8% above league average rates.

jrodhard
4 years 3 months ago

Hey sourbob…still don’t want Darwin Barney on the roster? How’s his OPS now?

gunsnascar
4 years 3 months ago

Jim Hendry is that retarded GM that everyone wants to be friends with so they can pluck any decent talent from, and he allows this to happen so they will stay his friend.
Im starting to believe that the ricketts family is dumb also for keeping hendry around. At what point do we as cubs fans declare this ownership change a failure. With that said even a blind hog finds a acorn once in a while … example … soriano’s league leading power totals this year.

4 years 3 months ago

This article made me want to cry. Jim Hendry is the worst GM in baseball and the team we have out there is an embarrassment, to say the least. With our payroll we should be in the Top 10 (at LEAST) in the MLB for the last decade. But we still suck. Go fly a kite JH….preferably in a lightning storm.

rayking
4 years 3 months ago

Wellemeyer may make a spot start for the Cubs? Ouch.

A lot of animosity is deservedly thrown Hendry’s way, but the injuries to Cashner and Wells were rather unfortunate for the Cubs; I’m a Cardinals fan but still willing to admit that the division is looking rather mediocre and there for the taking by a team who just gets a few good bounces to go their way.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Bottom line with this team–Cubs are gonna have to make another trade to give up more prospects for a run producer. Don’t want Fielder and see Puljos staying in St. Louis–just do. And you can’t have the top of your lineup with .500 OPS and not be able to drive them in and have a below .500 record. We can talk about Castro being the future of this team, but he needs support in that lineup. And the way the Cubs are currently constructed, he doesn’t.

RynoTiger
4 years 3 months ago

this isn’t the year for the Cubs so don’t make a trade for a big name person. keep the prospects and wait for the off season to try and get Fielder and Pujols.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

No, not this year for a trade. In the offseason. 10 years of Fielder, with that injury-prone body and his porous defensive. No thanks! Puljos is resigning with Cards. No way the Cards are gonna let the Cubs get him!!!

gunsnascar
4 years 3 months ago

they may not have a choice

look at it like this with pujols the cubs get much better and
without pujols the cards are much weaker
with that said I can see another soriano like contract comming only a larger one for a new 1st baseman

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Puljos’ family wants to stay in St louis. Again, I’d be shocked if he left or the Cubs even got the chance to sign him. You’re absolutely right about another Soriano contract for a fat Soriano-type player. I’ll boycott the Cubs if Fielder’s our first baseman because I know the contract they’re gonna give him. Look at this way. Brett Jackson doesn’t project to be a 4-5 place hitter. And if the Cubs had faith in their pitching depth, why are they starting Russell??? The right move screams of trade…to the Mets for David Wright or maybe, yes I’ve said it, to the Astros, for Pence and if we give up enough, Myers as a SP.

cubfan4life
4 years 3 months ago

First of all I think that Pujols will eventually end up back in STL unless there are some hurt feelings. I do think that he will test free agency though and if that happens then anything could happen. Including him going to say NY with them then trading Teixiera for pitching.

2nd. Fielder belongs on an AL team. I think Seattle or Baltimore are definate possiblities for him. Either way the Cubs should look elsewhere. Either going with another one year stopgap like a Berkman or a Mike Cuddyer or transitioning Tyler Colvin to 1B to open up a corner OF spot. Maybe even moving Byrd to RF and playing Brett Jackson in CF.

I do disagree with you about making a trade. In order to get top level players like Wright you have to give up premier talent and right now there isnt much left to deal from. There are some premier free agents coming on to the market in the next couple years who make much more sense than trading away more of the farm system. Next year with Pujols, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, CJ Wilson, Ryan Madson, and resigning Aramis Ramirez. And the following offseason with guys like David Wright, Youkilis, Matt Kemp, Possibly Josh Hamilton, Andre Ethier, Matt Cain, Zach Grienke, John Danks, Cole Hamels, Jered Weaver, and Jonathan Sanchez. I would rather struggle through this year and next year and clear the bad contracts out and then go out and bring in some top level talent. Will all those guys make it to FA i doubt it. But quite a few of them will. And they would all have a much bigger impact than a guy like Hunter Pence or Brett Myers.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I agree with most of what you’ve said. Fielder definitely needs to sign with the Orioles. This is their opportunity to make a big splash, no pun intended. However, the Cubs are “on the clock”. Baseball is quickly faded into irrelevancy in the city of Chicago. Other sports franchises, there, are stepping it up and taking the spotlight away from baseball, on both sides of town, for that matter. The Bulls, the Hawks, and even with the lockout, the Bears–all are taking attention away from baseball. So, if the Ricketts want a return on their investment, and I’ll bet from strictly a business standpoint they do, then they have to make a trade next season. Why? Because the Cubs convention has to be relevant again. Wrigley is losing fans at games. Attendance is down 16%. (and don’t give me the cold weather excuse, Fenway Park is ALWAYS sold out.) Wright could be had for players in our farm system. It’s just that the system would be severely weakened, and some of the fans wouldn’t like it. And like you, I see a lot of FAs signing extensions with their current teams, especially top starting pitchers. I mean, why wouldn’t teams want to retain their top players? I disagree also that a guy like Pence couldn’t be an impact player. This the type of five-tool player Hendry should have obtained, instead of his Soriano signing debacle.

cubfan4life
4 years 3 months ago

Yes i would imagine that NHL and NBA playoffs would draw more attention than april baseball. Yes the Cubs need to start winning but most everyone knew that this was going to be a rebuilding year so i see that as just as much a reason for declining numbers as anything else.

The system is already weakened from the Garza deal and while there are some nice pieces nons of them are of the caliber to bring in a guy like Wright. And yes i think a lot of teams will try to resign their current younger stars however there are alwaysa few that make it to FA due to a number of reasons being able to afford them all is the biggest. Here are a few that i see making it to FA. Jered Weaver for no other reason than his agent is Scott Boras and he loves to take his clients to free agency and Anaheim refuses to deal with him. Matt Cain and/or Jonathan Sanchez for much the same reason. SF has to pay Lincecum and wont be able to afford all 3 plus the rest of the team. And the last SP ill mention is Cole Hamels. PHI has got a lot tied up in Halladay, Howard, Lee and Utley (76.5M next season, 80M in 2013 and 85M in 2014 for just those 4 guys). Thats just about half of their current payroll. Now i know they will have money coming off the books with Ibanez, Lidge, Blanton and Oswalt but they will have to replace/resign them also along with jimmy rollins i just dont see them having the money to give out another 100M contract.

As far as position players are concerned despite the recent trend of long term deals i think there are a few guys who will reach FA also. Starting with Ryan Zimmerman. He wasnt pleased when the club let Dunn walk and you could argue that he isnt even the face of that team anymore with Strasburg, Harper and Werth. Other guys who you could make a strong case for are Josh Hamilton, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Mark Reynolds, Kevin Youkilis, Delmon Young and Carlos Quentin. Not to mention David Wright also.

So while a trade is always exciting i just think that the Cubs of 2012-14 will have to build through free agency as opposed to trades because they really dont have any truely elite prospects and their depth is also a question mark.

Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I just hope you’re right. And the Ricketts don’t feel the pressure of competing sports teams for fans’ attention and $$$. And that the team doesn’t alienate their fans by waiting until 2014 to field a solid team. Why 2014? because there’s nothing on the FA market in run-producing spots like 3b and 1b really until the end of the 2013 season. I’ve seen the club try the veteran stop-gap FA signing thing before in the late 1980s and 1990s, while waiting for prospects like Dwight Smith, Jerome Walton, Brant Brown, etc and Mike Harkey to make an impact. And it never HAPPENED. So, I guess if you’re OK with a crappy to mediocre team and the possible kind of team we’re seeing with the White Sox, then OK. I just don’t know if the owners are gonna be happy if they’re losing lots of $$$, with lots of empty seats.

Wrek305
4 years 3 months ago

It was a very bad move again on Hendry’s part.. he got back Blake DeWitt. and he’s horrible. he has no power whatsoever.. which is what a 3rd baseman needs..Giving a .196 hitter 10mil was a horrible move as well they had said Tyler Colvin was gonna play 1st this past winter yet they sign Pena.. and then they also make a horrible more trading for Matt “Spit Take” Garza.. just imagine if the Cubs had a smart GM Fuld, Barney Castro 1.2,3 they would have a threat at the top of the lineup for the first time since Alou and Sosa.. and all three have speed too… if Hendry was smart and we all know he’s not.. he would know that they have quite a few homegrown players but he thinks he needs to sign free agents all the time to compete with other teams. the bottom line is hes the worst GM Ever… with the close 2nd being the GM of the Mariners.. he was dumb enough to accept a trade for Milton Bradley hahahaha

rockfordone
4 years 3 months ago

Slow start? hasn’t been two seasons – hit a buck ninety last year