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.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.