Chad Billingsley Rumors
MLBPA chief Tony Clark addressed today the situation of Ben Wetzler, the Phillies' draft choice who was recently suspended by the NCAA for having an agent present while he negotiated with the club, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. "What we're doing in the short-term is trying to make sure we understand exactly what happened and what led to what happened with that young man in college," said Clark. "Rest assured it's a concern, it's something that we're paying attention to, but outside what's been bantered about through the media, we don't know much else at this point." For their part, the Phillies have yet to offer any comment other than acknowledging that they "did participate in the NCAA investigation." One agent tells Nicholson-Smith that, if the team did report Wetzler's use of an agent, "it was extremely short-sighted and impulsive on the part of the team."
Here are a few more links to round out the evening:
- The Rockies have recently made contact with free agent starter Ervin Santana, reports CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. The team's interest may be dependent upon the status of Jhoulys Chacin, whose shoulder issues are still being assessed. A Rockies official denied interest in Santana, however, reports MLB.com's Thomas Harding.
- Though the Dodgers needed a roster spot to make room for new signee Erisbel Arruebarrena, the club elected to designate Justin Sellers for assignment rather than putting Chad Billingsley on the 60-day DL, writes Chris Gabel for MLB.com. That constitutes something of a vote of confidence in Billingsley's ability to return from Tommy John rehab in a relatively short time frame. The 29-year-old is entering the final year of a three-year, $35MM pact, with the club holding a $14MM option ($3MM buyout) on his 2015 season.
- While Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada has reportedly shed some pounds, the club is nevertheless reportedly less than happy with his athletic form, reports Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. If that translates to an underwhelming start to camp, Kernan implies, there could be increasing impetus to sign Stephen Drew. "I would not be surprised if we signed Drew," an official said, "but at the same time, I don't expect it to happen."
- Across town, the Yankees are keeping tabs on reliever Joel Hanrahan after inking another rehabbing former closer in Andrew Bailey, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. As Martino explains, interest in arms like Bailey and Hanrahan shows that the club has some concern with its pen depth.
- The Twins are a very unlikely landing spot for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Diaz is looking to land a deal like the five-year, $25MM contract given Arruebarrena, says Wolfson, but Minnesota does not believe he is as good as his countrymate.
Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, announced the team, with the standard expected recovery time of one year. Elbow pain first surfaced for Billingsley in mid-July of last year. He had platelet-rich plasma injections in August and September and tried to rehab the injury, but Tommy John surgery was looming as a possibility. The 28-year-old made a pair of big league starts this year before the elbow problem resurfaced.
Billingsley will earn $12MM in 2014, the last guaranteed year of his contract. After 2014, the Dodgers will choose between a $3MM buyout and a $14MM club option for 2015.
Billingsley joined Dodgers starters Zack Greinke (broken collarbone) and Chris Capuano (strained calf) on the DL two days ago. Greinke's collarbone was broken when the Padres' Carlos Quentin charged the mound on April 11th, with Capuano worsening his own injury by sprinting toward the fracas. The Dodgers' rotation will welcome Ted Lilly tomorrow, with Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, and Stephen Fife comprising the other four and Aaron Harang now pitching for the Mariners.
The Dodgers sit 4.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West but still have six games left to play against their long-time rivals. The two teams face off in the last series of the year and in a three-game set starting on Friday at AT&T Park. Here are some news and notes out of Los Angeles...
- With the Dodgers pursuing an extension with GM Ned Colletti, Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times recaps some of Colletti's best and worst moves and argues that Colletti is deserving of the new contract.
- Chad Billingsley may miss the entire 2013 season due to a slightly torn UCL in his right elbow, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Billingsley will try to rehab the injury without Tommy John surgery, but if he needs to go under the knife, it will cost him all of 2013 no matter if he undergoes the procedure now or in the spring. Since signing a three-year, $35MM extension in March 2011 that covers the 2012-14 seasons, Billingsley has posted a 3.92 ERA, 2.17 K/BB ratio and 7.5 K/9 in 57 starts.
- The Dodgers' recent major player acquisitions served as "a statement of purpose" for Dodger fans, team president Stan Kasten said during a speech at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit (as reported by MLB.com's Matthew Leach). "Players like Adrian Gonzalez, players like Hanley Ramirez, they're not available. You can't get them in the free agent market," Kasten said. "This was a way to improve the team right away, while at the same time maintaining our core belief in also building the scouting and player-development system. That was always part of our model."
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.
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.
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.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
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.