Ted Lilly (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
The Chicago Cubs made their first and only deal Saturday before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, sending veteran left-hander Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Blake DeWitt and two minor league pitching prospects.
Lilly’s last start in a Cubs uniform was on Tuesday at Houston and was a microcosm of his 2010 season. He pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, but received a no-decision.
Plagued by poor run support all year, Lilly was 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 18 starts for Chicago this season. He made 11 quality starts after spending the first three weeks of the season on the disabled list after undergoing off-season surgery.
ESPN.com reports the Cubs will pick up $2.5 million of the $4.25 million remaining on Lilly’s contract. Lilly is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
Theriot started the season batting .337 in the first month. He entered play Saturday batting .284 with one home run and 10 doubles in 96 games, but with only a .320 on-base percentage.
Theriot, who made his big league debut in 2005 and was a third-round Cubs draft pick from LSU in 2001, began the season at shortstop. He moved to second base when the Cubs promoted top prospect Starlin Castro from Double-A Tennessee.
DeWitt, 25, is in the midst of his first full season in the major leagues after spending time between Los Angeles and the minor leagues the past two seasons. He is batting .270 with a .352 on-base percentage, one home run and 15 doubles in 82 games. A versatile infielder, he has played second base, third and shortstop.
The Cubs also acquired two minor league pitchers in the trade: right-handers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit.
Wallach, 21, was a third-round Dodgers draft pick from Orange Coast College in California in 2009. He spent most of his high school days as an infielder before moving to pitcher in college.
In 17 starts with Class Low-A Great Lakes this season, Wallach was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 84 2/3 innings. His 92 strikeouts were third highest in the Dodgers’ farm system, and he has the third highest strikeouts per nine innings ratio in the Midwest League.
Wallach was ranked the 20th best prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system by both Baseball America and Scout.com entering the season.
Smit, 22, was recently promoted to Double-A Chattanooga, where he has thrown three scoreless innings. He began the year at Class High-A Inland Empire and was 5-3 with six saves and a 2.49 ERA in 50 2/3 innings, striking out 46 batters and walking 10. He had the fifth lowest walks per nine innings ratio in the California League.
Smit was a fifth-round Dodgers draft pick out of Spanish Springs (Nev.) High School in 2006. He was 6-19 with a 5.83 ERA in 68 games (39 starts) his first four seasons in Los Angeles’ system between 2006 and ‘09.