Peter Gammons tweets that the Cubs are beginning to face reality (i.e. they’re going nowhere) and, as a result are thinking about trading Ted Lilly. They’d only think of it as loaning him to someone, however, as Gammons says Chicago would then try to sign him again once he hits the market after the season.
Sensible in that Chicago doesn’t need Lilly now but could really use him in the future. Risky, though, in that Lilly might get comfy wherever he goes. He might get used to, you know, winning.
I know this sort move has happened before, though at the moment examples are eluding me. Whenever I see it happen, though, I wonder how much of a wink and a nudge took place between player and team before the trade.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.