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Lilly Rumors Head Down To The Wire

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark sums up the Ted Lilly to the Dodgers rumors:

Theoretically, the Cubs are still speaking to four teams about Lilly. Realistically, it would be an upset if he wound up anywhere but with the Dodgers by the end of the day. The big issue — still — is money: Namely, how much of the $4.25 million which Lilly is owed this year will be picked up by the Cubs. And as of late morning, the two teams still hadn’t bridged that gulf. And they hadn’t quite settled on the players, either — since that depends on how the dollars get divvied up. But there was clear momentum toward a deal.

It appeared earlier that the Dodgers were asking the Cubs to pay Lilly’s entire remaining salary; the Cubs seemed disinclined to do that. If the Cubs don’t get some salary relief in trading Lilly, he’s likely to remain a Cub and get offered arbitration after the season. That would either keep him a Cub for at least one more season, or if he rejected the offer, the Cubs would get draft picks.

That might be the best possible scenario for the Cubs.