New York Yankees: Should Yanks Look into Ted Lilly for the Rotation?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJuly 21, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 17:  Starting pitcher Ted Lilly #29 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on July 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We have 10 days left until the trading deadline. It's getting to be that exciting time in baseball.

The rumors are heating up.

We all know the rumors have been circulating about the Yankees' interest in Ubaldo Jimenez, but right now, a deal seems unlikely because the Colorado Rockies' asking price is Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos and Ivan Nova.

If that was for Felix Hernandez or Clayton Kershaw, I think the deal would be made. But not for Jimenez.

Now, Freddy Garcia pitched tremendously Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. And he outpitched David Price too.

I think for now, Garcia is safe.

Now Bartolo Colon, not so much.

Despite pitching well on Tuesday, Colon still took the loss against the Rays, which dropped Colon's record to 6-6.

In his last two starts, we saw Colon get smacked around by the Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

On Monday, we saw A.J. Burnett get burned early and failed to get through six innings.

If not for the Yankees rallying against the Tampa bullpen, Burnett loses that game.

You can also throw in that Ivan Nova hurt himself pitching in the minor leagues this past week, so calling Nova back up might not be even possible.

Pitching is still the need for the Yankees. I'm going to throw in another name into the Hot Stove for the bombers.

Going into July 21, the Dodgers sit at 43-55, 13.5 games out of first place and are tied for last in the N.L. West.

Their owner, Frank McCourt, is broke, and is going through a nasty divorce. How he has not been forced to sell the team is beyond me. Yet, he is somehow still the owner.

It's obvious the Dodgers are going to be sellers in the next 10 days.

Now, I'm sure Kershaw and Chad Billingsley will not be on the block, one of their other starters may be expendable.

Last year, the Yankees nearly acquired Ted Lilly from the Dodgers on August 31 when they claimed him off waivers.

The Dodgers, for some reason, pulled Lilly back off waivers and the Yankees weren't able to get him.

This year, I don't see any reason why the Dodgers would hold onto Lilly now that they have major financial problems.

Lilly is 6-10 with a 4.83 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 113.2 innings with the Dodgers.

Lilly is also no stranger to the A.L. East and especially the Yankees.

After being traded by the Montreal Expos for Hideki Irabu in 2000, Lilly began his career in the minors with the Yankees, then was called up by the Yankees and was a part of the rotation until 2002 when he was dealt to the Oakland A's in the deal that brought over Jeff Weaver.

Lilly pitched two years with Oakland, then was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, but Lilly did not get along with former manager John Gibbons, which lead to Lilly leaving for the Cubs after 2006.

Lilly was interested in going back to the Yankees in 2007, but because the Yankees signed Kei Igawa instead, that lead to Lilly going to the Cubs. Can we say BAD CHOICE there?

Lilly has been in the National League since, with the Cubs and Dodgers, but if the Yankees want to bolster their rotation, and add a veteran lefty, Lilly could be their guy.

We know Lilly is not going to cost the Yankees top prospects like Jimenez would have. With the Dodgers, they just might want the Yankees to take on the rest of Lilly's contract, which is another two years and $22 million (the Dodgers signed Lilly to a three year, $33 million deal after 2010).

Getting Lilly would add another left-hander in the rotation that has four right-handers in it, with CC Sabathia the lone lefty.

Lilly is 35, but he's dependable, durable and familiar with the American League.

I can understand the Yankees reluctance to deal away Banuelos and Betances in any deal.

But if the Yankees want to win in October, they need to make some sort of a move.

Lilly can be had and wouldn't cost any major prospects.

If Yankees GM Brian Cashman wanted Lilly last year and missed out, I don't see why not to try again and land him this time.


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