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Dodgers GM Ned Colletti gets his budget, left-hander Ted Lilly gets $33 million over three years

October 19, 2010 |  7:29 pm

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti got his payroll figure for next season, which at least must have made left-hander Ted Lilly pretty happy.

Eschewing free agency, Lilly officially signed a three-year, $33-million contract with the Dodgers on Tuesday.

There is no deferred money in the deal. It includes a no-trade provision for the first two years.

Colletti confirmed owner Frank McCourt had given him a payroll budget for the 2011 season. Because  Colletti said he didn’t have a number after the season ended, this is progress.

"We know where we’re going,’’ Colletti said.  "It’s up from a year ago, but that’s all I want to tell you.’’

The Dodgers’ payroll has been going backward in recent seasons, and with McCourt mired in a contentious divorce, it was feared it would continue to shrink. Last year the Dodgers’ payroll was $95.3 million.

Lilly, 34, probably could have signed for slightly more if he’d tested free agency.

"There could have been more lucrative contracts if we’d gone down that road,’’ said Lilly’s agent, Larry O’Brien. "But Ted started with the Dodgers … and I think he felt there was some unfinished business here.’’

Lilly, who was born in Torrance and still lives in California, said he was aware of the ownership issue hovering around the franchise but felt good about the team’s direction.

"We have an incredible backing from our fan base,’’ Lilly said. "And I like the talent.’’

Lilly, who received the lowest run support in the majors, spent the final two months of the 2010 season with the Dodgers, going 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA. He joins Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley in the 2011 rotation.

"It’s a good start signing Ted, but we’re far from finished,’’ Colletti said.

At least Lilly -- who said he would like to pitch into his 40s -- is a believer.

"I believe this organization can do something special and important,’’ he said. "And I want to be a part of that.’’

-- Steve Dilbeck