So, it turns out the Dodgers have enough money to offer multiyear contracts.
While awaiting a ruling in owner Frank McCourt's divorce trial, the Dodgers agreed to terms on a new contract with left-hander Ted Lilly, according to baseball sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical examination.
The contract is for three years. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Lilly is tentatively scheduled to undergo a physical examination on Tuesday afternoon, and the deal could be announced later that day.
Lilly, who turns 35 in January, was acquired by the Dodgers from the Chicago Cubs in a multiplayer deal at the July 31 trade deadline.
The recipient of the second-worst run support in the majors at the time of the trade, Lilly was 7-4 with a 3.52 earned-run average in 12 starts with the Dodgers. He also became a mentor to 22-year-old Clayton Kershaw.
Lilly is 113-96 with a 4.18 ERA over 12 major league seasons.
A two-time All-Star, Lilly recently completed a four-year, $40-million deal. He earned $13 million this year.
Lilly's return gives the Dodgers a third established starting pitcher alongside Kershaw and Chad Billingsley. The two other members of the Dodgers' 2010 rotation, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, will be free agents this winter.
By agreeing to a deal at this time, Lilly passed on the opportunity to test the free-agent market. The Dodgers had exclusive rights to negotiate with Lilly until five days after the World Series.
Lilly was drafted by the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft but was traded to the Montreal Expos before he reached the majors. He said he was devastated at the time by the trade.
In the days leading up to his Dodgers debut, Lilly said, "It took me 14 years. I'm getting my chance."
As the end of the season approached, Lilly expressed an interest in returning to Los Angeles.
He was born in Torrance and attended Yosemite High School. His off-season home is in a Oakhurst, a small town just south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park.