Potential Phillies Target: Chad Billingsley
By Mike Lacy
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Billingsley has spent the entirety of his eight-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that time, he was a solid, mid-rotation starter who was named to the All-Star team in 2009.
His career has taken a downturn in recent years thanks to a variety of injuries. His 2013 season was cut short when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery after just two starts. He then missed all of 2014 due to a torn tendon suffered during rehab.
After two mostly wasted years, he’ll be looking for a chance to re-establish himself.
Why he might be a good fit
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Billingsley is a high-upside “buy low” candidate. Since he’s been injured for the majority of the past two seasons, it seems unlikely that he’s going to receive any lucrative offers.
It’s tough to see Billingsley receiving more than a two-year deal (and even that is doubtful) from anyone, so he fits into the Phillies’ recent strategy of signing free agents to shorter-term deals.
Assuming he can put the injuries behind him and come close to resembling his past self, he’d provide a boost to a Phillies rotation that lacks many viable major league options.
Why he might not be a good fit
It’s difficult for a pitcher to come back from one major arm injury, let alone two. Even if he does stay healthy, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be anywhere close to the pitcher he once was – or at least not this season.
And while he seems like an ideal buy low candidate, the Phillies aren’t the only team seeking potential bargains. The prices for free agent pitchers has become so high in recent years, that even a high-risk guy like Billingsley might receive more money than we expect.
If the Phillies think he can stay healthy, Billingsley would be a worthwhile pursuit.
If he can recapture his past form, he’d be a huge asset in the rotation. And if he doesn’t stay healthy, at least he’ll have plenty of other rehabbing pitchers around to keep him company.