July 31, 2010
For days, Ted Lilly(notes) and Ryan Theriot(notes) have been linked to the Dodgers in trade rumors. The deal was finally completed on Saturday, as the Cubs shipped the pair to LA in exchange for Blake DeWitt(notes) and minor league right-handers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit.
If you own Lilly in any fantasy format, this move works. You were no doubt panicked about the possibility of a shift to the American League, and that threat has now passed. Lilly's home park situation improves, as does his projected run-support. What he lacks in velocity these days (86.1 mph fastball) he's made up for in guile and … well, a bit of luck (.261 BABIP). This is a clear upgrade for the Dodgers, of course. They've had a revolving door in the starting rotation. Lilly is a flyball pitcher, and that trait should play better in LA than it did at Wrigley.
Lilly's departure should enable the Cubs to begin restoring Carlos Zambrano's(notes) value, or kill it off entirely. Thomas Diamond, a 27-year-old righty with the Iowa Cubs, reportedly may get a start for Chicago on Monday. He has a 3.16 ERA at Triple-A with 104 Ks in 108.1 innings, but walks have been an issue (46).
Theriot's situation is now somewhat murky. According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, he's "likely to split time at second base with Jamey Carroll(notes)." Theriot's fantasy value has always been propped up by his 20-steal speed (never mind the poor success rate), but in reality, DeWitt seems like the greater asset. He's six years younger than Theriot, he's cheaper, he's under team control through 2014, and he's reaching base at a better clip (.352 OBP vs. .320). Neither player offers much assistance in terms of power, although DeWitt has a few double-digit homer seasons on his minor league resume. All things considered, he's not such a bad pick-up for Chicago.
Neither of the prospects involved in the deal are going to visit the majors this season, but they're both worth discussing. The 21-year-old Wallach is the son of this man, who happens to be the manager at Triple-A Albuquerque, the Dodgers' PCL affiliate. Brett is 6-0 in the Single-A Midwest League with a 3.72 ERA and 92 Ks in 84.2 innings. He was a third-round pick in the 2009 draft.
Kyle Smit is not the son of Rik Smits, which would be awesome. All we can say for sure is that he's a 22-year-old reliever who was recently promoted to Double-A, and he's delivered a 2.35 ERA and six saves across two levels. Smit has struck out 47 batters in 53.2 innings and he's issued just 10 walks.
Rik Smits, as far as we know, has not been traded. Still a retired Pacer. No need to add him.
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