Dodgers Sign Billingsley To Three-Year Extension

The Dodgers announced that they have signed Chad Billingsley to a three-year extension that includes a team option for a fourth year. Billingsley will earn a guaranteed $35MM from 2012-14, his final season of arbitration eligibility and his first two free agent seasons. The Dodgers say they chose to invest in the pitcher because of his history of success and durability.

“Through his professional career Chad has shown that he is very capable of winning games and taking the ball,” GM Ned Colletti said. “His won-loss record speaks to that as well as his innings pitched totals.” 

Billingsley will earn $6.275MM in 2011, his second of three seasons as an arbitration eligible player. Under his new extension, the right-hander will then earn $9MM in 2012, $11MM in 2013, $12MM in 2014 and either $14MM or a $3MM buyout in 2015. The deal includes a clause which allows Billingsley to block trades to ten teams.

Billingsley, a Dave Stewart client, has been a steady presence in the Dodgers' rotation since 2006. He posted a 3.57 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 191 2/3 innings last year. His career numbers – 59-41 record, 3.55 ERA, 825 2/3 innings, 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 – have led to larger-than-usual rewards through arbitration. With a typical season in 2011, Billingsley could have asked for an eight-figure salary in '12 and hit free agency afterwards, but the extension provides security and extends his stay in California.

Francisco Liriano, Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver, Clay Buchholz, C.J. Wilson and Clayton Kershaw are among the top starting pitchers currently without multiyear extensions.

Joe McDonnell of (Twitter link) first reported the deal and Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added detail (all Twitter links).

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