Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Drafted, But Not Signed All-Stars

SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig speaks at the podium during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 5: Commissioner Allan H. Bud Selig speaks at the podium during the MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network Studio on June 5, 2014 in Secacucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 22: Ted Lilly #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on September 22, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 22: Ted Lilly #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on September 22, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Lilly for Later

Ted Lilly
The player with the highest WAR (27.1) over his career actually collected almost a quarter of it playing for the Toronto Blue Jays.  However, unlike Orlando Hudson who was drafted twice by the Jays and signed the second time, Ted Lilly wad drafted a second time and signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 1995, Lilly was finishing up his first year of junior college baseball with Fresno City College in California and the Blue Jays tried getting him to leave school.  The Blue Jays drafted him in the 13th round, however, nothing materialized and Lilly went back to school.  Lilly finished up his two-year degree and was drafted a second time, but this time in the 23rd round by his hometown Dodgers in 1996.  Lilly signed with the Dodgers and got to work in their minor league system.

Before ever playing a game for the Dodgers, Lilly was traded to the Montreal Expos in a deal that included now Blue Jay Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s uncle Wilton Guerrero.  Lilly didn’t quite have the immediate success other players on this list had as it took him until he was 27 years old before he had any notable season.  In 2003, Lilly started to break out which included a superb Game 3 ALDS performance that saw him pitch seven innings, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and five strikeouts.  The A’s would go on to lose the game in extras and eventually the series.

That offseason, things would come full circle as the Blue Jays stole Lilly from the Athletics for Bobby Kielty.  Lilly would build on his success in 2003 with the Blue Jays for the next three years which led him to pick up 37 wins over that span and his first All-Star appearance in 2004.  When Lilly turned 30, his game seemed to get even better which would lead to three years with the Cubs and putting up a 47-34 record in those years.  Finally, Lilly would get his opportunity with the Dodgers finishing out his career for three years, two of those would be injury-filled.

dark. Next. Blue Jays Forgotten Facts and Stats

Lilly who decided not to sign with the Blue Jays when they drafted him ended up having three successful years with them finished his career with a 130-113 record, had two All-Star Game selections and pitched in five different playoff games.

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