6:18pm: If Billingsley reaches all of the performance bonuses in his contract, he can earn another $6.5MM in salary, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.
5:56pm: The Phillies signed right-hander Chad Billingsley to a one-year, $1.5MM contract, the team announced. The contract also contains performance bonuses. Billingsley is represented by the Octagon agency.
The two sides were rumored to have a mutual interest in a deal earlier this week, and the signing gives Philadelphia an intriguing buy-low candidate for the rotation. Billingsley hasn’t thrown a Major League pitch since April 15, 2013 due to both Tommy John surgery and another procedure to repair a torn flexor tendon, and he has only thrown seven total minor league innings over the last two seasons.
“As has been the case throughout this offseason, we have attempted to create as much starting pitching depth as possible at both the major and minor league levels,” GM Ruben Amaro said in the Phillies’ press release. “Given Chad’s track record, we feel he is an excellent candidate to bounce back as a productive starting pitcher.”
Chosen 24th overall in the 2003 draft, Billingsley developed into a durable and successful hurler with the Dodgers, posting a 3.65 ERA, 2.27 K/BB rate and 8.2 K/9 over 1073 1/3 IP from 2007-12. Billingsley is only 30 years old, so if he’s back to full health, the Phillies may have found a strong rotation piece at a bargain price (even counting his contract bonuses). Several teams reportedly made offers to Billingsley this winter, and the Diamondbacks were also known to have an interest in the righty’s services.