After making just two starts since the 2013 season, Chad Billingsley had the team option on his contract for 2015 declined by the Los Angeles Dodgers, making him a free agent.
Despite coming off a second consecutive year in which he underwent season-ending surgery on his right elbow, Billingsley is drawing interest and has received multiple offers, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:
Source: Market for free-agent RHP Chad Billingsley gaining momentum. Multiple offers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2015
In 2013, Billingsley made two starts before needing Tommy John surgery to treat a partially torn ligament. The injury was one Billingsley attempted to rehab dating back to September 2012 prior to opting for surgery.
During his recovery last season, Billingsley endured multiple scares and spoke of wanting to return as a starting pitcher. However, seemingly each time he threw a simulated game or completed a rehab assignment, it came with a setback.
While the Dodgers declined his 2015 and instead paid the $3 million buyout, Billingsley returning to Los Angeles technically remains a possibility. Though that doesn’t appear a likely scenario given current the landscape of the Dodgers’ pitching staff.
They’ve signed Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy, and traded for Mike Bolsinger and Juan Nicasio. Of the four, Anderson and McCarthy come with some injury concern, which may mean the Dodgers won’t be willing to gamble on yet another pitcher.
With the uncertainty surrounding Billingsley and whether or not he’d manage to make it through an entire season healthy, the offers he reportedly holds may be of the Minor League type with an invitation to Spring Training.
In eight seasons with the Dodgers, Billingsley compiled a career 81-61 record and 3.65 ERA; with his best years coming in 2007 and 2008 when he was a combined 28-15 with a 133 and 135 ERA+, respectively.