The Chicago Cubs are in a waiting mode, waiting to jump on any deal that makes sense to them with the non-waiver trading deadline approaching at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have had the most interest in left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly, and they’ve been pursuing him for over three weeks. The Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and Cubs GM Jim Hendry had their first discussions about Lilly on July 9 in Hendry’s box at Dodgers Stadium. Since that time, the Dodgers have looked for money in order to acquire the Cubs pitcher.
The Dodgers have financial constraints due to the imminent divorce between the owners of the team, Frank and Jamie McCourt.
Although the Dodgers made a deal for Kansas City’s Scott Podsednik on Saturday, Podsednik’s pro-rated salary was less than $750,000.
Lilly still has $4.3 million left on his contract, which the Cubs expect any team they trade with to take in total.
Second baseman Ryan Theriot’s name has been a part of discussions, but he’s still owed over $1 million in 2010. The Dodgers would be lucky to find enough money and prospects in order to just obtain Lilly.
The New York Yankees have had interest lately in Lilly, as well. General manager Brian Cashman is known to get in on deals quickly, kick the tires and either make the deal or get out.
Arizona has shown interest in Theriot at either second base or eventually playing shortstop. If Arizona eventually trades starter Steven Drew, Theriot could be their everyday guy.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have let teams know that second baseman Kelly Johnson is available. It’s unknown if the Cubs have interest in Johnson, who’s a top-of-the-order left-handed hitter. But they most likely do.
Hendry will not trade either Lilly or Theriot, unless they get the deal they want back. The Cubs are not in the position where they must move their players.
Hendry could just as easily past the non-waiver trading deadline, and deal Lilly or Therior through waivers after Aug. 1.
Although other teams can block trades during that period, Hendry may be in a stronger position to make a trade when other teams start losing their pitchers and position players through injuries.