Dodgers, Lilly Sign Three-Year Deal

Left-hander Ted Lilly, who would have been a free agent after the World Series, opted to stay at home in California and signed what is believed to be a three-year contract with the Dodgers. The deal is apparently the deal is contingent on Lilly's passing a physical examination but club has declined comment.

Lilly, who grew up in the Southern California area let the Dodgers know he wanted to return and did not need to test free agency if the club presented him with a solid offer. Lilly was drafted in the 23rd round and signed by the Dodgers in 1996, but was traded to Montreal in the 1998 Carlos Perez trade and pitched for six Major League teams before rejoining the Dodgers.

Lilly, 34, was acquired in a July 31 trade from the Chicago Cubs in a deal that included infielder Ryan Theriot and sent infielder Blake DeWitt plus minor league pitchers Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach to the Cubs.

Over his 12 starts with the Dodgers he went 7-4 with a 3.52 earned-run average. However, he went 2-4 with a 4.89 ERA over his final seven starts. Lilly won his first five starts while posting a 1.83 ERA all while receiving lowest run support in the Major Leagues.

Lilly is 113-96 with a 4.18 ERA in 12 major league seasons; 54-39 with a 3.80 ERA in his five National League seasons. He has been an above-average major league pitcher in all but one year since 2002.

The team also is expected to try to re-sign veteran Vicente Padilla to another one-year deal. The Dodgers would be interested in signing Hiroki Kuroda, whose three-year, $35.3 million contract has expired, to a one-year contract but he might return to his native Japan.

The Dodgers are not expected to be active in the pursuit of Cliff Lee, the premier starter eligible for free agency.

General manager Ned Colletti has said that re-signing Lilly, catcher Rod Barajas and outfielder Jay Gibbons would be early offseason priorities. Those rights expire five days after the completion of the World Series. Other upcoming Dodgers free agents are Brad Ausmus (who has announced his retirement), Reed Johnson, Scott Podsednik and Jeff Weaver.

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