The Cubs, pondering with the idea of trading major fixtures in their organization, are starting to receive several inquiries concerning the availability of left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly. Lilly, despite being 3-7 in 14 starts this season, owns a 3.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 64 strike outs.
Lilly is entering the final year of his four year, forty million dollar deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2007 season, a deal the Cubs have greatly benefitted from. Lilly is 47-33 in 109 starts for the Cubs through this season, easily the best pitcher in the Cubs rotation during that span. If the Cubs decide not to trade Lilly, but rather let him walk as a free agent, they will likely receive two draft picks as compensation as Lilly is expected to be a Type-A free agent.
Both the Rangers and Rays have expressed interest in adding a starting pitcher and would be able to afford a pitcher like Lilly. The Cubs can certainly demand a top-end prospect, but the Cubs are also known to be very good at combing through organizations for solid young talent (see Mark DeRosa trade with Indians), and could probably find several solid arms in both organizations.
The Rangers and Rays have been connected to the Mariners and Cliff Lee, but Lilly is still an under the radar target on the trade market and those teams may be able to make a quick deal and put themselves in a position for a division run earlier than opponents.