Earlier this evening, the Phillies came to terms with free agent RHP Chad Billingley. The sides agreed to a 1 year, $1.5M contract with performance bonuses, reported to be around $6.5M (by Jon Heyman)
The 30-year old Billingsley has pitched just 19 innings over the past two seasons (major/minor) because of elbow injuries. He is attempting to comeback from TJ surgery and a repaired torn flexor tendon. He passed his physical and the Phillies hope he an be in Philadelphia by the end of April or early May. (Of note, Wandy Rodriguez recently failed a Phillies’ physical and went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves.)
In their press release, the Phillies stated, “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. Given Chad’s track record, we feel he is an excellent candidate to bounce back as a productive starting pitcher.”
Between 2008-11, the former Dodger started over 30 games each year and pitched between 188-200 innings each year. In his last full season in 2012, he recorded a 10-9 record with a 3.55 ERA in 25 starts and 148 innings. His BB and K rates were 2.7% and 7.7% per 9 innings. His K/BB was 2.84. Billingsley was an All Star in 2009, a year when he led the league with 14 wild pitches.
Right now the rotation looks like Hamels, Lee, Harang, Buchanan, and Williams. If Billingsley can rebound, he’ll be a nice pitcher to have in case of an injury to or trade of one or more of the starters. And in a perfect world, maybe he becomes a trade candidate. No vesting option, you see. Let’s hope the performance bonuses aren’t so easy to attain that they become a deterrent at the trade deadline. (tic)
The signing required the Phillies to make a move off their 40-man roster. Left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez was designated for assignment. That ends the speculation we had earlier about who would be the first guy off the roster when a new player was acquired. For the record, I had guessed Phillippe Aumont.
Billingsley was assigned Kyle Kendrick’s #38. Guess that means Kyle’s gone for good.