First Star – Ted Lilly (.330 WPA)
Second Star – Ryan Doumit (.225 WPA)
Third Star – Alfonso Soriano (.202 WPA)

A very nice win last night, despite the usual Ted Lilly run support showing. He’s been a tough luck loser this year, and you have to feel bad for the guy. We’re basically a month away from the trade deadline and teams have Ted on their radar, notably the Mets. I’m not sure what the market value for a guy like Lilly is, but it’s clear that Jim Hendry has a decision to make. I’d like to give you a breakdown on his options.

The first piece of information that you have to know is that Ted Lilly is not only scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season, but he’s projected to be a Type A free agent. If you’re not familiar with that concept, the short of it goes like this. Each year, players are ranked, free agent or not, and the top 20 % at each position are designated as Type A guys, while the next 20% are designated as Type B guys. The system is designed to compensate teams that lose these guys, provided that they were interested in keeping them in the first place. When a team loses a Type A guy, they are awarded the first round pick of the team that signed him in the June draft as well as a sandwhich pick between the 1st and second round. Essentially, it’s two prospects in return. The key statement was the fact that the team had to be interested in re-signing the player in the first place. To show that commitment, they must be willing to offer the player arbitration. Should that player accept the offer, then they will retain the player. Should he decline, the compensation kicks in.

I think the Cubs would like to keep Lilly, provided that the price is right for their budget. That being said, there is definitely the option to let Lilly ride out the season and then offer him arbitration. If he accepts, that’s great, and we’ll work out an extension with him or go to arbitration (try to avoid it if possible) and have Lilly back with the team for 2011. Should he decline, we’re awarded a couple of draft picks to continue to bolster the farm system.

The other option for the Cubs is to look seriously at the suitors for Lilly and move him before the deadline. You’d have to imagine that as the clock ticks, the value for him declines ever so slightly simply because you’re getting fewer starts for your investment if you’re the team that decides to bring him in. If it’s a move that is going to be made, it’s one that we need to make sooner rather than later. The key is to weigh the offers you’re being given and speak with guys like Oneri Fleita, Tim Wilkin and the scouts to decide if the package being offered is more valuable than guys who would be drafted in June.

Ideally, I think I’d like to see Lilly come back to pitch for us. I see him as being a Jamie Moyer type pitcher that still has plenty of good baseball left in him. I’d be willing to invest in another three years of baseball for Teddy. Thankfully, it’s not my decision, because it’s a tough one to make.

Other notes from a sleepy game of baseball:

  • Big ups to my boy, Koyie Hill, for getting me a hit in Beat the Streak. If you’re not playing with us, shame on you. What better time to start than today?
  • Guess who took the most pitches last night? Ryan Theriot. No hits for him, but a walk was present and accounted for.
  • Derrek Lee seems to be hitting the ball hard lately. It’s just not translating into many hits.
  • You have to believe that Carlos Marmol will not be available in the series finale, considering he’s appeared the last three games. Better score some runs so we don’t need him.
  • Not sure if anyone is interested or not, but I made an appearance on ESPN 1700 out of Des Moines on Monday to talk about the Zambrano situation and the team as a whole. It’s about a 20 minutes segment. If you want to listen, especially because of the fact that I defended Jim Hendry, you can download it here. I’d love some feedback or debate on what I had to say. Feel free to tear me to shreds.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail