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Ted Lilly interested in return to the Bronx

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According to George King of the NY Post:

November 19, 2006 -- He is left-handed, a former Yankee and interested in returning to The Bronx.

No, he is not Andy Petttitte, whom the Yankees would like to have back if he doesn't retire. This lefty is Ted Lilly, a free-agent southpaw GM Brian Cashman admitted having an interest in yesterday.

"We have an interest but that is it, it's premature [at this point]," Cashman said of the 30-year-old Lilly, who was a Yankee from 2000-02 (8-12 in 49 games). He was sent away in the trade that brought Jeff Weaver to the Bronx.

Larry O'Brien, Lilly's representative, said his client has been contacted by teams but would like to hear from the Yankees, who have major holes to fill in their rotation, which houses question marks Randy Johnson and Carl Pavano.

"I exchanged calls with Brian Cashman a week ago and we missed each other. The ball is in his court. We are getting some very serious interest from a number of other clubs, but we would be very happy to have serious conversations with the Yankees. They have to make the call," O'Brien said.

According to several reports, Lilly is looking to take advantage of a very thin starting pitching market by seeking a four-year deal in the $36-million range after earning $4 million last season when he was 15-13 with a 4.31 in 32 games for the Blue Jays. His career mark is 59-58 with a 4.60 ERA.

In other developments, Cashman refuted Wes Helms' comments that he turned down more money from the Yankees to sign with the Phillies.

"The bottom line is that we made an offer and it was less than the Phillies'," said Cashman, who refused to divulge his offer to the free-agent infielder. The Yankees wanted Helms to play first base. He will play third for the Phillies, who signed him to a two-year deal worth $5.45 million with a $3.75-million option for 2009 and a $750,000 buyout.

"He took the highest offer," Cashman added.

That's not the way Helms saw it.

"On the guarantee side, [the Yankees] were a little higher in salary," said Helms, who also admitted the idea of living in the New York area wasn't appealing. "But that's just me. I am going to go where I am happy."

With Nomar Garciaparra close to re-signing with the Dodgers, Shea Hillenbrand appears to be the frontrunner to become the Yankees' right-handed-hitting first baseman.


Memo to Cashman:  

PLEASE do not let Ted Lilly or his agent anywhere near the bargaining table or Yankee Stadium until he is pitching for another ball club next season.

Lilly is good for about 12 wins per season and you could get the same amount of production out of either Rasner and/or Karstens with the offensive production from your everyday lineup and you don't have to commit 4 years and $36M to do it.

Sincerely,

A very concerned Yankee fan