Ted Lilly and the Dodgers agreed to terms on a three-year contract yesterday and now Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has the details:
Lilly will get $33 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus “to be paid out over the life of the contract” and the remaining $29.5 million “is weighted toward the back end of the deal, but only slightly so.”
Three-year contracts for 34-year-old pitchers are always going to be very risky, but Lilly has thrown 175 or more innings in five straight seasons and has performed better than he did prior to signing the four-year, $40 million contract that just ended.
During that four-year deal he went 47-34 with a 3.70 ERA in 113 starts for the Cubs and 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 13 starts for the Dodgers, ranking 20th in ERA among all starters with at least 600 innings over that span. Lilly has been a solid No. 2 starter and that’s certainly worth $10 million per season to a high-payroll team like the Dodgers, but the big question is whether he can remain healthy and hold off a mid-30s decline.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.