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!
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.