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Losing Lilly A Mistake For Cubs

By bullpenbrian at 10.21.2010 2 comments.

My biggest concern with trading Ted Lilly was the thought Jim Hendry wouldn’t have the chance to resign him this offseason.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened as the Dodgers inked Lilly to a new 3-yr, $30M deal this week.

I never fully understood why Hendry dangled Lilly so freely this July instead of working out an extension. Lilly was, unquestionably, Chicago’s ace hurler for the past three years.

If you win with pitching, and Lilly’s your best arm, why take the risk of losing him? Just never made sense to me.

It also worries me for the Cubs that Lilly resigned with L.A. so quickly. If Teddy truly thought the Cubs had the chance to win, wouldn’t he at least give Hendry a chance to make an offer?

If the Cubs are back to believing Carlos Zambrano is a No.1, they’re in big trouble. Ryan Dempster is solid, but not a true ace, either.

Which means, it’s up to Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny and Randy Wells to fill Lilly’s shoes. And that’s a tall order for a threesome who each posted an ERA above 4.00.

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2 Comments

  1. berselius says:

    Lilly’s departure was no big loss for the Cubs. Lilly’s years with the team were great and that was one of Hendry’s best deals, but right now he’s turning 35 and has had injury problems. His next 3 years won’t be nearly as good as his last 3. I’d rather have Gorzelanny, who is younger, cheaper, and still has some upside.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Appreciate the comment. Love hearing what other Cubs fans are thinking!
      Now in response to your comment…

      Same thing was said about Mark DeRosa…’ah, that’s not a big loss.’
      Hendry valued D-Ro as an old man, knew he could go younger and cheaper and decided
      upside was more important than what DeRosa could do for the Cubs, or did do for the Cubs.
      Not a day went by in 2009 that the Cubs didn’t miss DeRosa.
      Now we’re watching the same thing unfold with Lilly.

      What about losing an Ace pitcher isn’t a big deal?
      Lilly’s 35-years-old, so what?
      To say his age guarantees he won’t be a stud pitcher any longer is nonsense.

      Lilly did suffer the shoulder setback, but responded well, and in full health,
      to make 30 starts between Chicago & L.A. That’s three more starts than he made the previous
      year and marks 30 or more starts in three out of the last four seasons. (27 starts in ’09)

      And frankly, I’m tired of hearing about upside with this organization.
      This isn’t the Marlins we’re talking about–the Cubs have $$$$!

      If Tom Ricketts wants championship baseball he’ll have to pay for it.
      That means shelling out the dough for the best players.

      What it doesn’t mean, of course, is spending foolishly like the Cubs have since 2003.
      Problem is, Hendry and company have tied its own hands with bad investments in players starting with Soriano & Zambrano.
      Not investing in Lilly is another misstep.
      And taking the risk of younger and cheaper is a lame excuse for moving forward without Teddy.

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