Here’s some video from ESPN with Omar Minaya talking about the Mets lack of activity at the non-waiver trading deadline yesterday. The biggest issue he talks about is that other teams were interested in the Mets young players that are making an impact in the bigs this year like Jon Niese, Josh Thole, Ike Davis, and Bobby Parnell.
It wouldn’t make sense to me to trade those guys for a rental pitcher like a Ted Lilly or Jake Westbrook. The Mets are 6.5 games out of the division and the wild card today. It wouldn’t make sense to make bold moves when they’re not really in either race at the moment.
The Mets need to keep working hard to unload the dead weight on the roster in August. It’s a guarantee that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo will be going through waivers this week. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jeff Francoeur went through waivers this month either. There’s no chance he’ll be offered arbitration after this season. So there’s no reason not to put him through waivers to see if there’s a taker out there.
The New York Mets need a starting pitcher if they are going to make a run for the playoffs down the stretch. Roy Oswalt now appears out of the questions as the Mets and Astros can’t come to terms on anything.
That leaves four options for the Mets of guys who have been tossed around baseball. The Indians are looking to trade right-handed pitcher Jake Westbrook. Westbrook makes no sense to me. The man is a mediocre pitcher at best. He is a Major Leaguer. I get it… But unless the Mets can magically get the Indians to throw in Kerry Wood at a halfway decent price, the move makes no sense.
With the Cubs season already locked in an early summer downward spiral, it is becoming more and more likely that the club may look to shop left-handed starting pitcher Ted Lilly. The 34-year-old Lilly is 2-6 with a 3.28 ERA, but has fallen victim to anemic run support so far this season with the Cubs. Lilly, like Cliff Lee, would be considered a rental, however, at a far lower cost. Lilly is likely to become a type-B free agent next off season.
Obviously, Lilly would be looked at as a poor man’s version of Cliff Lee by Mets fans if acquired. However, I’ve always looked at him as an effective starter throughout his career. As noted earlier, the Cubs asking price would not be nearly as high as the M’s asking price for Lee. A combination of the likes of Dillon Gee, Jeurys Familia, Nick Evans, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis would be realistic in dealing for Lilly. Unlike Lee, Lilly would not be worth giving up players like Jenrry Mejia, Jonathon Neise, or Wilmer Flores.
I think Lilly would be a good fit for the Mets. He has pitched in New York before, and has been a part of winning teams in Chicago as recently as 2007 and 2008. He’s left-handed and could pose match-up problems for NL East bats like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jason Heyward, among others.
As much as I’d love for the Mets to land Cliff Lee, I certainly feel that Ted Lilly would be a much more worthy alternative than Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Westbrook, and even Fausto Carmona.
New York Mets (10-8) at Chicago Cubs (13-6) 2:20pm
Nelson Figueroa (1-0) vs. Ted Lilly (0-3)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets really need to take this game. Even though it’s a short two game series they don’t want to get swept in Chicago. Getting out of town with a split would be just fine. Figueroa has looked pretty good for a guy off the street and out of U.S. baseball recently. Ted Lilly has been awful this season. Hopefully, that’s a recipe for a Mets win.