It’s been an offseason of flux and change for the Dodgers, and some long-tenured Dodgers have moved on to new teams this winter. Hanley Ramirez is now in Boston. Matt Kemp, Scott Elbert, Tim Federowicz have moved down south to San Diego. Dee Gordon will now be playing in his home state of Florida. Former Blue has been dispersed throughout the MLB this offseason with some departures more sentimentally filled than others.
Another long time Dodger, right-handed starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, may be the next to move on to a new team according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
It is still unclear which teams have shown interest in Chad Billingsley, but rumors have been surrounding the Diamondbacks. Chad Billingsley’s former agent, Dave Stewart, is now the General Manager for Arizona so it makes sense.
Chad Billingsley works out at Camelback Ranch during Spring Training 2014. Photo: Stacie Wheeler
Bills hasn’t pitched in the Majors since April 15, 2013 before succumbing to Tommy John Surgery. Last Spring, Billingsley had to undergo a subsequent elbow surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon after being close to making a comeback. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.
Chad became a free agent in October after the Dodgers declined his $14 million option for 2015. They opted to instead pay him a $3 million buyout.
Billingsley has expressed his desire to stay with the only team he has ever played for during the last week of the regular season.
"“I’d like to stay here. I hope we can work something out,” Billingsley said during the last week of the regular season, per Plunkett. “I’ve spent over a third of my life here. This is like home to me. I’ve lived in L.A. since 2006. I’ve seen a lot of faces come and go. They’ve been good to me here. I hope I can stay here.”"
Even though feelings about Chad Billingsley have been quite polarizing amongst Dodger fans, I have always been a Bills fan. Since the Dodgers drafted Billingsley in the 1st round of the 2003 draft, he was a steady and reliable middle rotation starter for the Dodgers for most of his eight seasons in Blue before his elbow injury.
The 30-year old is 81-61 with a 3.61 ERA over 219 games with a lifetime ERA+ of 110. Billingsley was an All-Star for the Dodgers in 2009. 2008 was Billingsley’s best year when he went 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA, 201 strikeouts (9.0 SO/9) over 200 2/3 innings pitched.
Signing Bills to an incentive laden contract this offseason could be a good way for the Dodgers or another team to take a chance on Billingsley bouncing back to add starting pitching depth. With Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson slated to pitch in the fourth and fifth slots of the rotation for the Dodgers, it would make a lot of sense to add more starting pitching depth since both aforementioned hurlers have had histories of injuries.