After 12 years with the only professional organization he has ever known, Chad Billingsley is now a free agent. The Dodgers on Friday declined Billingsley's $14 million option for 2015, opting instead to pay him a $3 million buyout, per multiple reports.
Billingsley has made two starts in the last two seasons, felled by two different elbow surgeries. He had Tommy John surgery in April 2013, then after over a year of rehab had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in June 2014. He last pitched in a major league game on April 15, 2013.
He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
The Dodgers got 27 starts out of Billingsley after signing him to a three-year, $35 million contract prior to 2012, his final season of eligibility of salary arbitration.
Whether Billingsley returns to the Dodgers remains to be seen.
"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."
Billingsley, 30, was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2003. He is 81-61 with a 3.65 ERA, a 110 ERA+, in parts of eight seasons, and his 190 starts are 14th-most by a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.
The Dodgers have 36 players on the 40-man roster.