Saturday, October 16, 2010
Source: Dodgers, Ted Lilly agree to deal
By Tony Jackson
Veteran left-hander Ted Lilly, who would have been eligible for free agency after the World Series, instead has agreed to terms on a three-year contract to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Saturday on the condition of anonymity because the deal is contingent on Lilly's passing a physical examination.
Terms of the deal weren't immediately available.
Lilly went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers after they acquired him from the Chicago Cubs on July 31 in a five-player deal that also brought second baseman Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for infielder Blake DeWitt and two minor leaguers.
At a time when the Dodgers still were on the fringes of a playoff race, Lilly paid immediate dividends, winning his first five starts while posting a 1.83 ERA. But as the Dodgers faded, so did Lilly: He went 2-4 with a 4.89 ERA over his final seven starts
Lilly, 34, was one of three Dodgers starting pitchers who were eligible for free agency this winter, and there likely would have been a strong market for him if he chose to go that route. But Lilly made it clear when the Dodgers acquired him that he was thrilled to be back with the organization that originally drafted him in the 23rd round in 1996 but traded him to the Montreal Expos before he reached the major leagues.
By signing Lilly, the Dodgers have assured themselves of bringing back at least 60 percent of their starting rotation, as Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley remain under club control. The team also is expected to try to re-sign veteran Vicente Padilla, possibly to another one-year deal. Hiroki Kuroda, whose three-year, $35.3 million contract has expired, might return to his native Japan.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.