Ted Lilly Rumors

Odds & Ends: Choo, Nationals, Lee, Pujols

Links for Tuesday night, as Cliff Lee and the Rangers look to advance to the ALCS….

Ted Lilly Seeks Three-Year Deal

The agent for Ted Lilly anticipates mutual interest between his client and the Dodgers, but suspects other teams might make better offers.

“I’m just not sure the Dodgers at this point are going to get to a range that will be very easy for us to achieve come December,” agent Larry O’Brien told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “I’m pretty confident that there’s a minimum three-year deal out there for Ted.”

Lilly, who turns 35 in January, has pitched well for the Cubs and Dodgers this season. He has an overall ERA of 3.71 with 7.6 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 186.2 total innings. He and teammate Hiroki Kuroda will be among the more appealing free agent starters not named Cliff Lee.

As Rosenthal points out, Lilly currently projects as a Type A free agent, but not by much. It may not matter, since the Dodgers would have to offer arbitration to obtain compensation picks and that doesn’t seem likely given their recent history.

Dodgers Notes: Gibbons, McCourts, Lilly

Some news items as the Dodgers do battle with the D'Backs tonight…

  • Jay Gibbons is expected to be re-signed by L.A., writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.  Gibbons may get some interest from Japanese teams, but it seems likely the California native will stay close to home.
  • There has been no settlement yet in the ongoing McCourt divorce case, tweets the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez.  The trial continues on Monday.
  • The Dodgers could be setting themselves up for a future bad contract if they re-sign Ted Lilly to a long-term deal, warns Jon Weisman of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Odds & Ends: Pirates, Lilly, D’Backs, Crawford

On this date in 1990, the Dodgers signed Miguel Cairo as an amateur free agent. These days, Cairo's playing all around the diamond for the Reds, as they approach their first playoff berth since 1995. Here are today's links…

  • Pirates president Frank Coonelly has “veto authority, but he most definitely does not do any of the day-to-day GM work,” according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier in the day that some baseball people see Coonelly as the team’s de facto GM.
  • Ted Lilly and the Dodgers have an understanding that they'll talk about a new deal after the season, when Lilly hits free agency, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
  • The D'Backs appear to want a GM whose forte is scouting and player development, according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Houston native Carl Crawford told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he likes Houston and has nothing against the Astros. Crawford, who hits free agency this winter, says his friends see him playing for a winner. Despite their strong second half, the Astros are five games below .500.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Blue Jays are being "incredibly open-minded" as they search for their next field manager.

Dodgers Notes: Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Free Agents

It's been an eventful week for the Dodgers, with news that Don Mattingly will replace Joe Torre as the team's manager. Let's check out a few more updates out of Los Angeles, as the club prepares for the offseason….

  • GM Ned Colletti says he doesn't intend to drastically overhaul his roster this winter, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "A year like this makes you look at every aspect of the team and makes you more apt to listen [to trade overtures]," Colletti said. "But it won't make me aggressively tear it up."
  • Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times thinks that Colletti would be right not to move Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier, but argues that the club should look into dealing James Loney. He also suggests that signing a free agent outfielder should be the Dodgers' "only big winter expenditure."
  • According to Gurnick, Colletti would like to add a productive left fielder to replace Manny Ramirez. It's unclear whether the Dodgers will have the resources to bid on players like Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.
  • Catcher and third base also may be areas that need to be addressed, says Gurnick. Rod Barajas will be a free agent, Russell Martin will be recovering from a broken hip, and Casey Blake could be shifted into a utility role.
  • The team is expected to try to retain free agents Ted Lilly, Jay Gibbons, and Barajas. They could also attempt to bring back Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, depending on asking price and health.
  • A few longtime Yankees weighed in on Torre's decision to step down, as Chad Jennings of the Journal News writes.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Francoeur, Lilly, Loney

On this date two years ago, instant replay was used for the first time in baseball history, resolving a fair or foul call on an Alex Rodriguez home run against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Third base umpire Brian Runge originally called the ball a homer, and that call stood upon further review. Numerous umpire gaffes have some clamoring for expanded use of instant replay, but so far Major League Baseball hasn't budged. 

Here's a look at what's been written around the baseball blogosphere…

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Heyman On Fielder, Kemp, Mets, Jeter

In his latest column for Sports Illustrated, Jon Heyman writes that the waiver trade deadline was a dud outside of the Manny Ramirez claim by the White Sox.  Even though the waiver trade deadline was somewhat quiet, this offseason should bring us plenty of interesting storylines.  Here's what Heyman has in hot stove news..

  • The Brewers are still holding out hope that they can re-sign Prince Fielder.  Meanwhile, others in baseball believe that they have virtually no chance of retaining the slugger.  Milwaukee's chances of hanging on to Fielder took a hit when the Twins re-upped Joe Mauer for $180MM.  Fielder wants at least that much but it's likely too rich for Milwaukee's blood. 
  • Heyman hears that Matt Kemp is seeking a deal with the Dodgers similar to Nick Markakis' contract.  Markakis inked a six-year, $66MM extension with the O's in January of 2009.  In fact, as a center fielder with power, Kemp sees himself as more valuable.  However, the soon-to-be 26-year-old knows that he won't get that kind of deal with the Dodgers.
  • Speaking of the Dodgers, Heyman says that it's tough to envision Ted Lilly approaching the $12MM salary he got from the Cubs.
  • Mets GM Omar Minaya has told friends that he enjoys scouting and talent evaluation.  Heyman wonders aloud if this is a precursor to Minaya has accepted that he will be assigned to a new position.  Some in the organization wonder if owner Fred Wilpon traveling to the minors with assistant GM John Ricco means that the Mets intend to elevate Ricco to the GM position.  It's possible, however, that Ricco was just assisting on a scouting mission.
  • It's hard to quantify Derek Jeter's value to the Yankees though early guesses of him earning $25MM per season in his next contract seem high at the moment.
  • Unsurprisingly, Heyman writes that Texas will non-tender Jeff Francoeur this offseason.

Dodgers, Lilly To Pursue Extension

The Dodgers intend to pursue a multiyear deal with Ted Lilly, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the interest is mutual.  Rosenthal adds that Lilly wanted to sign with the Dodgers in the 2006-07 offseason, but they went with Jason Schmidt.

Lilly, 35 in January, has a 3.29 ERA, 8.5 K/9, and 1.4 BB/9 with six home runs allowed in six starts with the Dodgers since coming over from the Cubs on July 31st.  He made his season debut on April 24th due to arthroscopic shoulder surgery in November.  Lilly projects as a Type A free agent after the season, but it could be a moot point if his agents at Full Circle Sports Management hammer something out with the Dodgers before December.  Lilly's four-year, $40MM deal with the Cubs was signed in December of '06, a more freewheeling time for free agency.  He figures to accept fewer years, but probably won't take much of a salary cut.

Rosenthal also notes that the Dodgers "never engaged in serious discussions with the Padres" after the Friars won the claim on Hiroki Kuroda.

Yankees To Continue Pushing For Lilly?

The Yankees "will continue to push to make a deal" for Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly, according to Mark Feinsand, Bill Madden, Anthony McCarron, and Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News.  Furthermore, the writers say the Yankees "believe there is a loophole that because they were awarded the claim before the first of the month, they could use Lilly on their postseason roster."

Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues can't find evidence of this loophole, nor could ESPN's Keith Law or a big league executive with which Law spoke.  Aside from postseason eligibility, is it plausible for the Yankees to acquire Lilly for the rest of the regular season?  Can the Dodgers place Lilly on waivers again, even after pulling him back the first time the Yankees won the claim?

According to The Biz of Baseball, "Once a player on major league waivers has been claimed and the waiver request revoked, any subsequent request for major league waivers during the same waiver period is irrevocable."  In other words, if the Dodgers put Lilly on waivers again they cannot pull him back if he's claimed.  If the Dodgers had purely financial motives, they could hope the Yankees or another team claims Lilly, allowing the Dodgers to save over $2MM and also keep the $2.5MM sent by the Cubs.  Such a transfer would be one of the bigger September transactions in recent memory.  Still, it's possible the Dodgers simply have no intention of moving Lilly, as ESPN's Wallace Matthews suggests.  ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees' original claim of Lilly "never had any traction."

Ted Lilly Will Not Be Traded; Yankees Won Claim

The Dodgers pulled Ted Lilly back off of waivers after the Yankees won the claim on the left-hander, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links). This means virtually every team in baseball let Lilly through (the Rays being the lone possible exception). When the Dodgers placed Lilly on waivers last week, they did not seem inclined to trade him, so their decision is not a surprise.

Earlier in the month, the Yankees maintained that they weren't interested in adding starting pitching. Clearly, something changed this week. Andy Pettitte has been progressing slowly and Dustin Moseley has not fared well in his last four starts, so perhaps the Yankees decided it was time to be aggressive.

Lilly's new teammate, Hiroki Kuroda, will not be traded either. Both pitchers hit free agency this winter.