Poll: Cliff Lee or Ted Lilly?
Should the Mets Trade for Cliff Lee or Ted Lilly?
- Cliff Lee (64%, 284 Votes)
- Ted Lilly (25%, 111 Votes)
- Neither. Keep Takahashi and Dickey in the Rotation. (7%, 32 Votes)
- None of the Above. (3%, 14 Votes)
Total Voters: 441
Joel Sherman is reporting that the Mets have interest in Cliff Lee and would not require a a negotiating window to extend his contract. In other words, the Mets would be renting Lee, most likely for Jenrry Mejia and Angel Pagan.
And even if the Mets can outbid other suitors, such as the Twins, for Lee, it would still be up to Mets ownership to approve giving up prospects for a rental and agree to add a nice bit of payroll. Doubts persist within the organization whether the Wilpons really will accept those terms. (NY Post via MetsParadise)
Sherman also indicates the Mets may have interest in Cubs lefty Ted Lilly. Brandon Lee at MetsParadise, explains why Lilly could be an attractive alternative:
Lilly is owed $12M this season, which is the finally year of his contract. After this season he would most likely become a Type A free agent, so if the Mets offer him arbitration, they could get top drafts pick if he signs elsewhere. (MetsParadise)
So who should the Mets go after? Let’s break it down:
Obviously, Lee is putting up better numbers, but Lilly should come cheaper, at least in terms of trading young talent. And if Lilly can consistently get the Mets to the seventh inning with a lead, he may allow the Mets to make a credible playoff run without mortgaging the future.
Fun Fact: According to ESPN, Lilly’s full name is Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. That MIGHT rival Milton Bradley and Coco Crisp as the best name in Major League Baseball.
a. “Trade Angel Pagan and Jennry Mejia for Cliff Lee.”
b. “Trade Wilmer Flores and Bobby Parnell for Ted Lilly.”
c. “Neither. Keep Dickey and Takahashi in the rotation.”
Makes (c) look much better, doesn’t it?
Some may say that trading Niese/Pagan for Lee is acceptable, as Carlos Beltran is coming back to patrol CF and force Pagan out of the lineup anyway, while Lee is much more battle-tested and reliable than Niese. However, this line of thinking is very dangerous for several reasons. First, acquiring Lee while giving up Niese doesn’t solve the intended solution, which would be removing Takahashi from the rotation and putting him back into the bullpen. Secondly, expecting Beltran to come back and play like the 2008 version is unsound reasoning. He will likely need to be spelled at least twice a week well after he returns from the DL, and there’s no guaranteeing he will come back as productive as he has been in the past. I’d much rather Pagan waiting in reserve as a fall-back option than Jesus Feliciano or Fernando Martinez. Thirdly, as has been talked about ad nauseum, is that Lee will be a rental, and will leave the Mets virtually empty-handed once the season is over. I realize he should net the Mets a pair of picks in the next draft if he leaves via free agency, but the players taken with those picks are no locks to be as good as or better than Pagan/Niese, and will be at least 3 years away from contributing at the major league level.
If the Cubs can be purged of Lilly for a package along the lines of Evans/Cohoon, certainly the Mets should pull the trigger. But if it takes any of the top 10 prospects within the organization to pry Lilly away from Chicago, I’d be much more wary. I do have to admit, though – his name is much more attractive than that of the previously mentioned Jake Westbrook or Kevin Millwood.
Maybe the Mets should just stand pat, or sign Pedro Martinez as their #5 for the stretch . . .