Rumor: Ted Lilly to the Phillies for J.A. Happ

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UPDATE: Not so fast.  I had missed this, but last week Jon Paul Morosi reported that Ted Lilly’s 10-team no-trade clause includes the Phillies. Whether he’s more adamant about not going to Philly than Roy Oswalt seems to be is an open question, but it’s not like this would be a slam dunk or anything.

4:59 P.M.: Ed Price from FanHouse has that one. He notes that it’s “not confirmed,” but that’s what makes it a rumor, right? Someone’s talking about it?

Regardless of how true it is, this seems to make so much more sense to me than the Oswalt-to-Philly rumors.  Lilly comes with no big salary obligations and nowhere near the no-trade hurdles that Oswalt has (Lilly has limited no-trade protection; there have been no reports of which teams he’d reject that I can recall). As for performance, yes, there’s a falloff from Oswalt to Lilly. But not a tremendous one, and certainly not one that offsets the far easier-to-do deal that a Lilly trade would represent.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Twins have inquired about Lilly. The Mets have been talked about before as well, but Rosenthal says they are “waiting on direction from above.”  Which means that Omar Minaya, as is almost always the case, is being told what to do by the Wilpons.

How uplifting for Mets fans!

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.