Goatriders of the Apocalypse

If Derrek deserves flak, Ted gets triple.

Most of the Cub trade hubbub lately has focused on Derrek Lee's decision to invoke his no-trade clause and prevent a deal with the Angels. That led to a debate about Lee's interest in winning, his skills as a leader, and other intangibles discussion points.

Pardon my lack of segue. Call it a quick left turn:

Last night, the Minnesota Twins traded for Matt Capps, the Nationals' closer. In the deal, they gave up Wilson Ramos, a 22-year-old catcher who hit .317 in AA last year, a guy who apparently has a super arm when it comes to throwing out runners.

Another left:

In a potential Ted Lilly trade, the Cubs are asking the Mets for Josh Thole, according to some reports. Thole has a .783 OPS in his career in the minors, but in 48 plate appearances with the big league club this year has managed to post a .941 OPS.

Three lefts, just one more to go:

Until very recently, the Twins had been considered a likely landing spot for Lilly. They wanted him pretty badly, and given the deal they just made with Washington, it seems like they had a guy in mind that they were willing to give up to get Ted.

Fourth left, now we're back to where we started:

Some folks seem to have been bothered by the fact that Derrek Lee used his no-trade clause (the one he earned from having played in the league for 10 years, spending five of those with one team) to block a Los Angeles deal. Let me be honest: the Cubs may have possibly saved some money, but given Lee's performance this year we probably weren't going to get anything valuable back.

Having said that, it looks like up until last night, a Ted Lilly-for-Wilson Ramos swap was distinctly possible. And according to reports, the only thing that held the deal up was Ted Lilly's decision to invoke his limited no-trade clause, which happens to include the Twins.

If you want to talk about "wanting to win," turning down the Angels, who trail the Rangers by a sizable margin, is one thing. But the Twins are getting tons of buzz as a World Series favorite. If you want to give a guy flak for not wanting to go after a championship, take everything you've said about Derrek Lee and triple it, because that's what Ted Lilly deserves, not to mention his role in denying the Cubs a Top 100 catching prospect.

I see

I see what you're doing here A.J. but I just wanted to posit the idea that we're dealing with human beings here. Having "no trade" provisions in one's contract allows players the right to decide where they want to play. That right is limited but sometimes players utilize it and quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with that. Chicago is a rather wonderful place to play for several reasons, especially the north side. We should be flattered as fans that these guys are so committed to this team instead of getting all huffy and puffy about it.

Quite frankly, you're right, we weren't getting much for Lee and it's not inconceivable that Lilly could bring the Cubs two draft picks in free agent compensation after the season also, making his trade not particularly necessary. I'd like to deal Theriot and if we could trade Kosuke, I'd be all for that also. I'm just saying that if the player doesn't want to go, let's just remember that we're talking about human beings here. This is NOT fantasy baseball people.

I guess this article would

I guess this article would have a different feel if I established early on that I think neither Lee nor Lilly are deserving of criticism, which is my opinion. But I'm not about to tell anyone their opinions are wrong. Rather, my thought is, if you're gonna hate on Lee for turning down Los Angeles, then you better darn well be prepared to put Ted Lilly on your crap list too. I don't care what your opinion is, but I am in favor of consistency.

I do find it sort of funny

I do find it sort of funny about all the criticism players with no-trade clauses are being given. In the current climate of hatred for players that demand trades or go "judas" like Lebron and flee their home city, is it really rational to also criticize players for wanting to stay? They signed a contract. They have the right to play that contract out in the city they want.

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