Saturday, December 9, 2006

Lilly, Ward sign with Cubs

We may have overpaid for Ted Lilly, as we have with Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood, Mark DeRosa, and Alfonso Soriano, but it seems like Jim Hendry is finally sick of losing. It’s about time, too.

Ted Lilly may not be a quality arm like Schmidt or Zito, but he is still a great addition to the team. Lilly posted a 15-13 record last year with a 4.31 ERA with the Blue Jays last year, and has averaged over 12 wins per year for the last four years. The pitching does not need to be as dominant as it was in 2003, because of the fact that the offense contains Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, and Barrett, who should, in all likelihood, combine for over 120 homeruns.
The starting rotation still lacks one arm though, as Lilly joins Zambrano, Hill, and Marshall. While Glendon Rusch, Wade Miller, or Mark Prior could take up the fifth spot in the rotation, the team should not enter the season having to count on one of them to step up.

I also like the addition of Daryle Ward. With Dusty Baker no longer around to play the wrong guys, shoring up the bench with quality pinch hitters is not a bad idea. Ward hit .308 last season in 98 games with the Braves and Nationals, while clubbing 7 homeruns in just 130 at-bats. Ward should serve as a backup at first base and the three outfield positions as well as giving Pinella a decent bat off of the left side of the bench.

Jim's real close to being done. But he's not done yet.

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