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Chad Billingsley Rumors
Colorado is the epicenter of scouting activity this afternoon as Cole Hamels starts against the Rockies. The Angels, Dodgers, and Rangers are scouting the Phillie left-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter links). The Tigers are on hand taking a look at Marco Scutaro, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of Root Sports. Here's the rest of the news from the AL and NL West with the most recent up top:
- The Dodgers remain high on the Cubs' Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza and also have expressed interest in the Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies and Josh Willingham of the Twins, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- The Angels keep telling teams Peter Bourjos is not available, tweets Knobler.
- The A's don't appear to be a fit with the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton, unless it's part of a multi-team deal, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In the same piece, Slusser writes, if the A's do make a trade, Bartolo Colon will be the first player dealt because he can net a decent prospect or two and the team has in-house replacement options.
- The A's will be buyers and sellers because they can move veteran starting pitching to fill other needs, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- If the Diamondbacks do become sellers, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweets there will be interest in utilityman Willie Bloomquist because he can play short. The question is whether GM Kevin Towers will make him available.
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers may no longer be the favorite to land the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. There could a renewed sense of urgency as Chad Billingsley was scratched from his scheduled start today because of elbow pain. Billingsley will have a MRI, tweets MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, who adds manager Don Mattingly is unhappy the right-hander didn't disclose the injury earlier.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Bartolo Colon | Chad Billingsley | Cole Hamels | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Josh Willingham | Justin Upton | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Marco Scutaro | Matt Garza | Michael Cuddyer | Minnesota Twins | Oakland Athletics | Peter Bourjos | Ryan Dempster | Texas Rangers | Willie Bloomquist
6:05pm: It's highly unlikely that the Yankees will make a serious run for Buehrle, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
1:54pm: The Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers are interested in free agent lefty Mark Buehrle, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, and the Marlins are meeting with him today. Buehrle, 32, posted a 3.59 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.92 HR/9, and 44.9% groundball rate in 205 1/3 innings this year. The long time White Sox starter has pitched 200+ innings in every season since 2001.
The Marlins and Blue Jays are the teams most aggressively pursuing trades for starting pitchers, add Rosenthal and Morosi. One GM said of the Jays' Alex Anthopoulos, "You can’t pin him down. He has interest in every one of your players."
James Shields, Wade Davis, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Jair Jurrjens, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Chad Billingsley, and Wandy Rodriguez are the pitchers "known or thought to be available in trades," according to the FOX writers. Cahill and Billingsley are the new names here, but it's unclear whether they fall under "known" or "thought." The availability of Rodriguez will depend on whether Jim Crane is approved as new Astros owner next week, as Crane does not share Drayton McLane's reluctance to move the 32-year-old.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Boston Red Sox | Chad Billingsley | Chicago White Sox | Gavin Floyd | Gio Gonzalez | Houston Astros | Jair Jurrjens | James Shields | John Danks | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Buehrle | Miami Marlins | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays | Trevor Cahill | Wade Davis | Wandy Rodriguez
If Chad Billingsley had been looking to extract every last dollar from his big league career, he wouldn't have signed an extension this week. But he's 26 years old in a profession where career-altering injuries are commonplace and his employer offered him $35MM in guaranteed money. It's not hard to see why he signed a three-year contract with the Dodgers. In fact, Billingsley pushed agent Dave Stewart to get a deal done now despite the agent advising he wait until after the season.
Though Billingsley will earn $9MM in 2012, a healthy '11 season would have positioned him for more given his career numbers to date. Two similar pitchers, Joe Blanton and Wandy Rodriguez, both asked for over $10MM heading into their respective final arbitration seasons though neither was as well positioned to ask for an eight-figure salary as Billingsley might have been. Blanton and Rodriguez started from lower base salaries than Billingsley's current $6.28MM mark and their ERAs sat more than half a run higher than than Billingsley's, so Carlos Zambrano may be a better point of reference.
Zambrano was working from a similar salary to Billingsley ($6.5MM) his second time through arbitration and had similar numbers to the ones now found on the back of Billingsley’s baseball card. Zambrano set himself up for a $12.4MM payday in 2007 with a banner '06 season, so an eight-figure salary would have been well within Billingsley's reach in 2012 with a typical showing in '11.
Billingsley's deal provides the Dodgers with a likely bargain on his first two free agent years as well. The contract pays him an average of $11.5MM for 2013-14, two seasons that could have been free agent years. The 25 extensions signed by arb-eligible starting pitchers since 2009 suggest the going rate for free agent years in multiyear extensions is $13.4MM, so the Dodgers appear to be getting a bargain of about $2MM per year.
There's a good chance that the Dodgers saved at least $6MM from 2012-14 by signing this extension. Billingsley has obtained $35MM in guaranteed money, however, and will be no older than 31 when he hits free agency for the first time. He has enough time for a major free agent contract after this extension expires.
Meanwhile, In committing to Billingsley, the Dodgers are taking on risk themselves. They're hoping that the right-hander's history of durability continues and that they save money, as expected. But they've invested tens of millions in a resource that's as fragile as it is valuable – starting pitching. With Clayton Kershaw approaching arbitration as well, it's a risk GM Ned Colletti may have to get used to.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
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.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andy Sonnanstine | Anibal Sanchez | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Bill Bray | Boone Logan | Boston Red Sox | Brandon League | Brandon Morrow | C.J. Wilson | Carlos Quentin | Chad Billingsley | Chase Headley | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Chris Perez | Cincinnati Reds | Clay Hensley | Cleveland Indians | Clint Barmes | Cody Ross | Colorado Rockies | Conor Jackson | Dallas Braden | David Aardsma | Doug Slaten | Erick Aybar | Felipe Paulino | Felix Pie | Glen Perkins | Heath Bell | Houston Astros | Howie Kendrick | J.J. Hardy | Jacoby Ellsbury | Jair Jurrjens | Jason Vargas | Jeff Keppinger | Joba Chamberlain | Joe Saunders | Joel Hanrahan | John Danks | Jonathan Papelbon | Jonathan Sanchez | Josh Willingham | Kansas City Royals | Kendrys Morales | Kevin Kouzmanoff | Kyle Davies | Kyle Kendrick | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Parra | Martin Prado | Matt Capps | Matt Garza | Miami Marlins | Michael Bourn | Michael Morse | Mike Adams | Mike Pelfrey | Milwaukee Brewers | Minnesota Twins | Nelson Cruz | New York Mets | Oakland Athletics | Peter Moylan | Phil Hughes | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Prince Fielder | Rafael Perez | Rajai Davis | Ramon Ramirez | Reggie Willits | Ryan Ludwick | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Santiago Casilla | Seattle Mariners | Shin-Soo Choo | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Tim Stauffer | Tom Gorzelanny | Tony Pena | Toronto Blue Jays | Transactions | Washington Nationals | Yunel Escobar
We here at MLBTR really appreciate everyone staying up past their respective bedtimes to keep up on all of the latest rumors. Here's some news from around the web..
- The Padres prospect drawing the most interest from other clubs is Double-A starter Cory Luebke, writes Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres.
- The Dodgers had a chance to land Roy Oswalt from the Astros, but it would have cost them Chad Billingsley, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- Plenty of major leaguers read MLBTR, but it doesn't sound like Kyle Farnsworth is one of them in this article by Dick Kaegel and Samuel Zuba of MLB.com.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (in these three tweets) says that the Red Sox, who have found the market for outfielders and relievers to be shallow, might make a smaller deal before the deadline or make their moves in the August waiver period.
- The Diamondbacks offered second baseman Kelly Johnson to the Cubs for Ryan Theriot and lefty James Russell in return, writes ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.
- Brad Hawpe says that he isn't concerned about being involved in a deadline deal, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding. Based on news from earlier today, it sounds like Hawpe doesn't have anything to worry about.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweets that the Cubs could move Ryan Theriot to the Diamondbacks for Kelly Johnson.
- The Phillies may be done trading and are telling teams that they are out of money and prospects, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- The Tigers and Jays are talking, and John Buck may be an even better fit for Detroit than the relievers, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
Links for Friday, with less than 24 hours before the deadline…
- The Pirates acquired minor league outfielder Mitch Jones from the Braves, according to MLB.com's transactions page. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves obtained cash in return (Twitter link).
- The Rangers are the only team that has slight interest in Mike Lowell, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter).
- The Mets shopped Oliver Perez today, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Cubs are resigned to the fact that if they want to trade Carlos Zambrano, it will have to happen in the winter, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports will believe that Cody Ross is unavailable once the deadline passes tomorrow. Until then he's a skeptic (Twitter link).
- Teams like Joe Beimel, but are only offering the Rockies non-prospects, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The Rockies are shopping Randy Flores.
- GM Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash explained to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers look for "plus" fastball velocity, quality breaking pitches, solid arm action and delivery and height in the pitchers they pursue.
- The Rangers are talking to rival teams to determine if there's interest in Rich Harden or Scott Feldman, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- The Astros wanted Chad Billingsley in exchange for Roy Oswalt, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (Twitter link). The Dodgers countered with a four-prospect offer, but the Astros preferred the Phils' offer.
- The Royals aren't making much progress on deals, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (Twitter link).
- I answered questions from Neil Keefe and broke down the trade deadline in detail at WFAN.com.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Zambrano | Chad Billingsley | Chicago Cubs | Colorado Rockies | Joe Beimel | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mike Lowell | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | Oliver Perez | Pittsburgh Pirates | Randy Flores | Rich Harden | Scott Feldman | Texas Rangers | Transactions
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes that Mike Rizzo isn't looking to deal Adam Dunn. Rizzo repeated what's becoming a favorite phrase lately, telling Washington broadcaster Bob Carpenter that it'd be "very painful" to move Dunn, both for the Nationals and for the team acquiring him.
- The Dodgers were involved in talks with the Mariners for Cliff Lee, but wouldn't part with Chad Billingsley or James Loney, according to MLB.com's Evan Drellich.
- Jamey Newberg provides his detailed take on the Rangers' acquisition at The Newberg Report.
- In light of the Lee trade, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times takes a look at how some past blockbuster deals between division rivals worked out.
- Jim Leyland reiterates to MLB.com's Jason Beck that the Tigers could use some bullpen help.
- Ricky Nolasco knows that he might be on the trade block this month, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wonders (via Twitter) if the Yankees' scout in Arizona yesterday had an eye on Nolasco, noting that Joe Girardi managed the right-hander in 2006.
- River Ave. Blues passes along a story from El Universal (Spanish link) in which Ernesto Armenteros reports that the Yankees signed 18-year-old Colombian catcher Alfredo Castellon Jr.
Links for Wednesday…
- Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal thinks that Victor Martinez's inability to contain baserunners could cost him millions in free agency and compromise his long-term future with the Red Sox.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that Tom Hicks is "concerned" about the sale of the Rangers to new ownership. Hicks' comments prompted MLB to release a statement in which they say the league has taken control of the Rangers' sale.
- Despite Stephen Strasburg's hot start, Mike Rizzo has no plans to rush his prized prospect through the minors, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington. Rizzo says that when Strasburg arrives in Washington, the club wants it to be for good.
- Ever seen a $17.875MM reliever? Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen on Friday. Carlos Silva will remain in the rotation; Tyler Kepner of the New York Times recently looked at his potential resurgence.
- In a pair of February articles, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune noted that Mark Buehrle's 10-and-5 rights kick in on July 6th, while A.J. Pierzynski's date is June 14th.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times posits that if the Mariners hadn't traded Adam Jones, they wouldn't have Jack Zduriencik and Franklin Gutierrez.
- Though he'll continue to work for ESPN, Joe Morgan has joined the Reds as a "special advisor to baseball operations." Morgan will not be involved in the team's day-to-day operations, learned John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Diamondbacks looked into a trade for Nate Robertson before the southpaw was dealt to Florida. Crasnick's article deals with the performances of nine important fill-ins so far this season.
- FanGraphs has added an aspect of catcher defense to its Wins Above Replacement stat.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports talks about the plight of Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley. I imagine quite a few teams would like to try to get him back on track.
- Kevin Millar, released by the Cubs in March, has joined the MLB Network as an analyst according to Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: A.J. Pierzynski | Adam Jones | Arizona Diamondbacks | Boston Red Sox | Carlos Silva | Carlos Zambrano | Chad Billingsley | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Kevin Millar | Los Angeles Dodgers | Mark Buehrle | Nate Robertson | Seattle Mariners | Stephen Strasburg | Texas Rangers | Victor Martinez | Washington Nationals
Let's take stock of each team's top trade chips, starting today with the NL West…
- Diamondbacks: Arizona moved two of its best trade chips this winter in Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth, and there's obviously no way Justin Upton will be moved. The cupboard is a little bare right now, but Stephen Drew could be available for the right price. He has two more years of team control left after 2010. Conor Jackson, who won't be a free agent until after 2011, could be attractive as well. Top prospect Jarrod Parker is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- Dodgers: Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are deal breakers, but Chad Billingsley could be dangled after popping up in rumors during the offseason. The 25-year-old posted a 5.21 ERA in his final 19 appearances last year, though his peripheral stats were in line with what they had been in previous seasons. He won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.
- Giants: Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval aren't going anywhere and Matt Cain just signed a new extension, so Brian Sabean's best trade chip is lefty Jonathan Sanchez. The 27-year-old owns a career 9.3 K/9 and won't be eligible for arbitration until after the 2012 season. Madison Bumgarner's stock is down while he battles with Missing Velocity Disease, and Buster Posey isn't going anywhere.
- Padres: Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell aren't just San Diego's two best trade chips, they're among the best in the game. Gonzalez is one of the baseball's premier power hitters at age 27, and will make just $4.75MM in 2010 with a $5.5MM club option for 2011. Bell has emerged as one of the league's most dominant closers, and won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season.
- Rockies: Everyone wants to get their hands on Troy Tulowitzki, but it's just not happening. Brad Hawpe is the player most likely to be moved, and there should be interest given his annual .890 OPS's and 25+ homers. He has a $10MM option for the 2011 season with a cheap $500K buyout, and Colorado has a glut of young and productive outfielders to replace him.