Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported Saturday that the Dodgers and left-handed starter Ted Lilly were “close” on a new three-year contract. Now, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, that deal is complete.
No financial details have been released because Lilly still needs to pass a physical. That should take place early next week.
Lilly, 34, turned in a stellar 3.62 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 30 starts this season, striking out 166 batters and walking only 44 over 193.2 innings. He began his 2010 campaign in Chicago, where a poor offense led him to a 3-8 win-loss record over his first 18 starts. A trade at the July deadline brought him to Los Angeles, however, where he finished 7-4 with a 0.99 WHIP over his final 12 outings.
For Lilly to pass on an opportunity to test the free agent market, he must have been handsomely rewarded by the Dodgers. Many believed that the club — still being killed by the McCourts’ divorce proceedings — would not be able to make many large-scale moves this offseason. So far, that idea looks to be incorrect.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.