Piniella hopes to keep lefty Lilly around

Piniella hopes to keep lefty Lilly around

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly will be a free agent after this season and has been the subject of trade rumors. Manager Lou Piniella said he didn't think all the talk should bother the left-hander.

"Teddy's a professional," Piniella said Friday. "He wants to stay here and we'd like for him to stay here. Obviously, it gives us a much better chance to win games.

"At the same time, you never know what's going to happen, and for a veteran pitcher like Teddy or a veteran player, just go do your job and whatever happens, happens," Piniella said. "You can't concern yourself with it."

Lilly, who started Friday against the Phillies in the Cubs' second game since the All-Star break, had received 2.41 runs of support per start, the lowest in the Major Leagues. But he was coming off two losses in which he's given up 16 runs on 18 hits over 10 1/3 innings.

Does Piniella give general manager Jim Hendry his opinion in trade talks?

"I don't get too involved in them," Piniella said. "I haven't talked to Jim about any trade talks at all. That's his department, and if he wants my opinion, he'll ask me."

That's not always the way Piniella has handled things.

"I like it quiet anyway so if stuff leaks out, it doesn't come from me," he said. "There are always leaks, but if I don't know anything about it, it can't come from me."