Dodgers trying to get Ted Lilly from Cubs
On the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers remained in conversations with the Chicago Cubs about a potential deal for left-hander Ted Lilly, according to multiple baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss the matter.
The Dodgers and Cubs have discussed a potential deal that would send Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to Los Angeles, but one source indicated that the Dodgers might be focused on acquiring only Lilly.
It isn’t known what the Dodgers would give the Cubs. The non-waiver trade deadline is 1 p.m. Saturday.
Lilly, 34, is 3-6 but has a 3.69 earned-run average in 18 starts and could round out the resurgent Dodgers’ rotation.
Theriot has played mostly shortstop in the major leagues but has been used almost exclusively at second base since early May. The 30-year-old Theriot, who is batting .284, was pulled from the Cubs’ game in Colorado in the fifth inning as part of a double switch.
There is a financial element to the negotiations, as the Dodgers are asking for salary relief from the Cubs.
Lilly, who is in the final year of a four-year, $40-million contract, is still owed more than $4 million this season. Theriot is still owed more than $900,000 this season.
The Dodgers already added at least $700,000 in payroll commitments when they acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
The Dodgers also remained in contact with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are shopping left-handed starter Paul Maholm.
Manager Joe Torre said he was optimistic General Manager Ned Colletti would be able to make something happen.
“He’s not here for a reason,” Torre said. “He’s staying on the phones.”
On the Oswalt talks
The Dodgers had a chance to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes — but they would have had to send Chad Billingsley to the Houston Astros, according to one source familiar with the talks.
That was a no-go for the Dodgers, who countered the Astros’ proposal by offering four prospects, including three described as “upper-level guys.”
The Astros opted for a three-player package from the Phillies that included starting pitcher J.A. Happ.
The Astros sent $11 million to the Phillies to cover a portion of the $24 million left on Oswalt’s contract. The Astros would have sent less than that to the Dodgers had they accepted the Dodgers’ proposal.
The Astros wanted a major league-ready starting pitcher, the source said, adding that the Dodgers “don’t have anybody who fits between Billingsley and the minor leagues.”
Manny Ramirez is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Sunday, but he probably will remain at the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Arizona.
Torre said he expected Ramirez to return to Dodger Stadium in the middle of next week, at which point Ramirez will be reevaluated.
Ramirez, who has started running, probably will go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment before rejoining the team.
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