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Signing Ted Lilly at least starts Dodgers' offseason on a positive note

October 16, 2010 |  9:09 pm

Well, now they have three-fifths of a rotation. Which is 20% more than they had Friday. That’s called progress.

Inking Ted Lilly is mostly nothing but good news, the only qualifier being he’ll be 35 to start next season and the Dodgers signed him to a three-year deal.

His agent had made it clear that Lilly wanted three years, and with such a sparse offering of free agent talent available this winter, the Dodgers knew he probably would get it, so they bit that bullet.

His fastball has begun to tail off, but it’s not like he was ever a power pitcher anyway. It would have been better to sign him for two years, but the market is what it is.

How much this is all going to cost the Dodgers, however, has yet to be revealed. Since they got this done quickly, and he was a local boy who wanted to return, just hope it was semi-reasonable.

Now at least, the Dodgers will have something to show for the trading of Blake DeWitt to the Cubbies. It’s not like DeWitt was tearing it up (.270, one homer, 30 RBI in 256 at-bats as a Dodger), but he is only 25 and showing modest improvement.

Lilly joins Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley in the 2011 rotation. And it’s still possible that Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla could return, though both are expected to test free agency.

Lilly won his first five decisions after coming to the Dodgers in a July 31 deadline deal with Ryan Theriot for DeWitt. He finished 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts.

With Kershaw (22) and Billingsley (26) still relatively young, it’s good to have at least one veteran in the rotation with Lilly.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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