Dodgers Sign Ted Lilly

The Dodgers have signed Ted Lilly to a three-year, $33MM contract that was finalized today when the 34-year-old pitcher passed a physical.  Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) reports that Lilly has a full no-trade clause for the first two seasons of the deal, and the left-hander will receive a $3.5MM signing bonus to be paid out over all three years.  Ken Rosenthal of broke the news of the agreement last Saturday, and's Ken Gurnick was the first to confirm the dollar amount (both Twitter links).

Los Angeles acquired Lilly from the Cubs at the trade deadline this summer, and watched him post a 3.52 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in dozen starts (76.2 innings). He also threw his first complete game shutout since 2004 while in a Dodgers' uniform. Lilly just wrapped up the four year, $40MM contract he signed with Chicago before the 2007 season. 

Lilly projected to be a Type-A free agent, so the Dodgers will be forfeiting a chance at two high draft picks with the move. Of course they would have had to offer arbitration and Lilly would have had to turn it down for that to happen, and neither of those things was a given. 

Lilly was positioned to be one of the best free agent starting pitchers available, and Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman (via Twitter) calls the signing a "bargain" for Los Angeles considering what Lilly could've earned on the open market.  Apparently he preferred to sign quickly, and given how the market played out last offseason, it's hard to blame him.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post.

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