Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" Lilly 29
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6'1" Weight: 195
Awards: 2004 & 2009 All-Star
The first signing of the offseason was announced to be starting pitcher Ted Lilly. He was acquired at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs along with Ryan Theriot for Blake Dewitt and two minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit. Lilly will get $33 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus, $500,000 on April 1st and $1.5 million on each following April 1st. He gets salaries of $7 million next season, $10.5 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012, and $13.5 million in 2013. There's a full no-trade clause through the 2012 season. Let's look at the negatives. This is a long contract and a lot of money for a almost 35 year old pitcher. He also gives up a lot of homeruns. Let's just hope we aren't regretting this come 2012 and 2013. There are some positives. Ted is a veteran who can balance out the rotation since Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley are still young. This may fill up the black hole 5th starter issue we had this past season. If everyone stays healthy then we can hopefully not see batting practice starters Monasterios and Ely much. It's always good to have another lefty in the rotation. If the Dodgers also resign Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla I may be more optimistic about this deal. I can't help to cringe at the past notorious multi-year signings of Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort, and Jason Schmidt. Let's hope Lilly can transcend that ugly list. What also is surprising is that the Dodgers actually offered Lilly this deal. They rebuffed the idea of signing Randy Wolf last year who is basically the same caliber as Lilly. Ned Colletti claims the Dodgers will have an increased payroll for next year. Let's hope they still have some cash left for a desperately needed power bat. Lilly went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers, and was 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA overall during the season.
Lilly was born January 4, 1976 in Torrance, California, and actually was drafted by the Dodgers in 1996. He was traded to Montreal in the minors, and has bounced between 6 different ball clubs before landing back with the Dodgers this year including Montreal, the New York Yankees, Oakland, Toronto, and the Chicago Cubs.
Lilly made his MLB debut for the Montreal Expos on May 14, 1999 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He pitched 1 inning in relief. His first start came on September 19th vs. the Braves. He only pitched in 9 games with the Expos, including 3 starts.
The next year, in 2000, he was traded to the New York Yankees. After two years with the Yanks he was traded in a 3 team deal to the Oakland Athletics which sent future Dodger pitcher Jeff Weaver to New York and Jeremy Bonderman to Detroit. Lilly pitched in the ALDS in 2002 & 2003 for Oakland as a starter. Lilly was then traded to the Blue Jays for Bobby Kielty. In 2004 Lilly was named to the All-Star team representing Toronto. The highlight of his career as a Blue Jay was a start on August 23, 2004 against the Red Sox. He pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out 13 batters in a three-hit 3–0 victory.
On August 21, 2006 Lilly and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had a little bruhaha. The Athletics were up 8-0 in the 3rd inning. When Gibbons decided to get the hook, Lilly refused to leave the mound. He finally gave Gibbons the ball, and they fought later in the locker room. This fueled Lilly to reject a 4 year $40 million contract offered by the Blue Jays thus becoming a free agent. He later signed a equally lucrative deal with the Chicago Cubs instead.
In 2009, Lilly was named to the All-Star team for the second time representing the Cubs. Lilly became a Dodger after a July 31st trade. He won his first 5 starts as a Dodger. His best outing was on August 19th against the Colorado Rockies when he pitched a complete game shutout.
In his career Lilly has pitched 5 complete games and 3 shut-outs in his 310 games. He's pitched a little over 1,718 innings striking out 1,474 batters.
Earlier in the season, an interesting controversy surrounding Ted Lilly was abuzz. In May, Casey Blake got fired up after he accused Ted Lilly of pitching in front of the rubber rather than having his foot on it during a 1-0 loss to Chicago. Blake tried to get the umpires to call him on it unsuccessfully. The umpires ignored the issue. "I know he doesn't have an overpowering fastball," Blake said. "I know he's trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in. That's cheating. You've got to stay on the rubber." Lilly responded by saying, "Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he'll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines. I don't think he's trying to cheat. It might not be intentional. I might have done it a couple times, just trying to gain my footing," he said.
Here are two photos of Lilly during the game in question. You be the judge.
It will be interesting to see how Lilly's temperament is since there are a few videos of him grabbing a bat in anger and retreating to the dugout in a hissy fit and another of him slamming his glove down in frustration during a game.
Ted Lilly and his wife Natasha have one young son appropriately named Theodore Roosevelt Lilly IV.
The next few weeks should be very interesting since we should know the fates of the Dodgers' free agents here soon. They have exclusive rights to negotiate with them up until 5 days after the conclusion of the World Series.
Stay tuned for more Blue Bios!