Today Ted Lilly underwent debridement surgery on his pitching shoulder. It appears as though he will not be ready in time for Opening Day and I’m wondering what (if anything) we will get out of Lilly next year. Shoulder injuries are a different breed of cat compared to elbow issues – some guys never really come back afterwards (e.g. Mark Prior) and others come back missing 5 mph on their fastball (e.g. Bobby Brownlie.) If all goes well Lilly will come back 100% in May but what if he doesn’t?

This adds a new dynamic insofar as the negotiations with Rich Harden are concerned. Offering him arbitration is a no-brainer but will he accept? If not should the Cubs give him a multi-year offer?

If the Cubs part ways with Harden it means that both Marshall and Gorzellany will be pencilled in as starters, this means that Jeff Samardzija would almost certainly be the clubs sixth starter, a role that I don’t feel he would excel at. So my question is this – should the Cubs play the hand they hold or enter the trade or free agent market looking for a pitcher?

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