Yesterday Ken Gurnick reported that the Dodgers were at an impasse with southpaw Ted Lilly after the 14-year veteran refused a minor league assignment Saturday. The Dodgers now must activate him, designate him for assignment, release him, or trade him.
Gurnick passed on these comments from manager Don Mattingly;
“We laid out a plan and Teddy doesn’t want to be part of the plan. It’s out of my hands. We didn’t feel he was ready to pitch at the Major League level. For me, it’s a baseball decision. It’s nothing personal in any way, shape or form. We’re giving him our baseball thoughts, what we think is best for him and the team.”
It’s worth noting that Mattingly did say using Lilly in relief is a possibility, though it appears that Dodgers and Ted Lilly don’t seem to be thrilled with the scenario. I couldn’t agree more. Sort of a slap in the face to Lilly, no? I can’t really see how Lilly helps the Dodgers much in the bullpen. Seriously, what a mess.
Late yesterday afternoon Lilly agreed to make another minor league rehab start according to Gurnick. So as originally scheduled Lilly will start today for Triple-A Albuquerque. The question now is, will Ted Lilly make another rehab start after today? Or will the Dodgers activate him? This all but looks to be the Dodgers trying to buy some more time before making a decision. Perhaps a sell low trade is in the works. It’s going to be tough for the Dodgers to get a lot of value with Lilly right now, especially at age 37, and a $12MM salary. McCourt still haunts the Ned Colletti and the Dodgers, sigh. Tough break for Colletti, as he certainly has his work cut out for him with Lilly.