Joel Sherman cites a source today telling him that, in the event the Mets aren’t able to land Cliff Lee, they’d be interested in Ted Lilly as a fallback position, more so than either Fausto Carmona or Roy Oswalt, each of whom have been rumored to have caught the Mets’ interest.
Setting aside the absurdity of lumping Carmona and Oswalt together in the fallback category (note: Roy Oswalt is still an excellent pitcher; Fausto Carmona is not), Lilly would be a nice pickup for anyone. His strikeout rate is down a bit this year, but he’s still been effective. His 2-6 record is deceptive inasmuch as he hasn’t gotten a lot of run support. He’s expensive, but he’s in his last year under contract. That all washes out to a nice addition for a team that isn’t totally strapped, in my view.
The question is whether the Cubs would truly be willing to part with him. With Zambrano now apparently out of the rotation for good someone has to pitch for Chicago. And they’re simply not the kind of team that ever truly waves the white flag and sells off players, no matter how dire things get.
The upshot: I think the Cubs would probably ask too much for Lilly for the Mets’ liking, and given that, while nice, he’s not a difference maker the way Cliff Lee would be, I have a hard time seeing the Mets and Cubs matching up on such a deal.