Starting pitcher Ted Lilly has signed a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has also been reporting on Lilly’s new deal. The dollar amount for the three-year contract has not yet been disclosed.

After being acquired from the Chicago Cubs just before the 2010 trade deadline, Lilly recorded a 7-4 record for the Dodgers while posting a 3.52 ERA and a 9.0 K/9 ratio. While pitching for the Cubs in 2010, he went 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA.

Lilly was projected to be a Type-A free agent, and was assumed to be one of the best available starters on the market this offseason. Lilly was expected to be courted by most of the clubs in need of starting pitching, and was expected to sign a two or three year deal worth at least $10 million annually.

Starting pitching is one of several areas needing to be addressed by Los Angeles in the offseason, and with the Lilly signing, the Dodgers took a small step in the right direction.

The only other returning starters under team control are Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley. Both are expected to sign contract extensions this winter.

Hiroki Kuroda, who was third on the team with 11 wins, and second on the team with over 196 innings pitched, is still undecided about his future in the Majors. Early signs from Kuroda revealed that he may have plans to return to his native Japan to finish his career. Kuroda also stated that we would like to pitch for a playoff contender if he indeed decides to enter the free-agent market.

Vicente Padilla, who completed a one-year, $5,025,000 contract in 2010 with Los Angeles, is also eligible for free agency. Former Dodgers manager Joe Torre had recommended for management to re-sign Padilla, but there have been no talks reported to date. 

Owner Frank McCourt and general manager Ned Colletti have yet to disclose payroll parameters for next season, and with McCourt’s accrued debt and legal fees from the divorce trial, the Dodger fan base isn’t sure which direction the team is heading.

The Dodgers announced season ticket prices last week, and although disguised in several scenarios, the result was an overall increase in cost.

The first installment of five for season tickets is due on October 29, and perhaps the Lilly deal is a sign of good faith from Los Angeles management to the fans.

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