Dodgers complete three-year deal with left-hander Ted Lilly

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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.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.