Both pitchers are coveted by numerous teams as the trade deadline approaches on Saturday.
At least six teams have interest in Lilly, including the Twins, Tigers, Dodgers and Mets. According to major league sources, the Twins have been the most aggressive team in their pursuit of Lilly, although the Dodgers, who had early interest in the pitcher, may have found a way to pick up the $5.5 million left on his contract.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he understands that players may be moved before Saturday’s deadline.
“Everybody’s professional,” Piniella said. “Everybody knows that [trades] happen. As a manager you get attached to your players. Teddy has been with me here four years. He’s an amicable guy, and a professional. I’ve given my thoughts about staying together as much as we can. But I understand the other side of the coin.”
Lilly has had the fewest runs-per-game scored for him of any starting pitcher in baseball. The Cubs have scored 2.43 runs per game in his starts.
Philadelphia, which had some interest in Lilly, has decided to go in a different direction, due to the fact that Lilly is a flyball pitcher and the Phillies’ ballpark is one of the smallest and most home-run friendly in baseball.
Look for Minnesota and the Dodgers to be front-runners for Lilly as teams make their final pitch to make a deal with the Cubs in the next 72 hours.