Chad Billingsley inks 3-year extension
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced their signing of right-hander Chad Billingsley on Tuesday to a three-year contract extension through 2014 after Billingsley passed a physical examination.
The agreement, which also includes a club option for 2015, is worth about $41.3 million that adds $35 million in guaranteed money over the final three seasons.
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Having just signed a contract extension that will keep him in L.A. through 2014, Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley talks about inking the deal and his expectations going forward.
"It was a little bit of a compromise, but I'm happy with it and I believe they're happy with it also," said Billingsley, who is represented by agent Dave Stewart, a former All-Star pitcher himself. "They came to us at the beginning of camp. We kept talking back and forth over the course of spring training and we were able to work something out. Ultimately, it was my decision and what I felt was best for me and my family."
Billingsley, the Dodgers' first-round draft choice in 2003, already was signed for this year, with a salary of $6.275 million. The new agreement buys him out of his final winter of arbitration eligibility and at least his first two years of free-agent eligibility, giving the pitcher several years of financial security and the club a bit of financial certainty for years to come where Billingsley is concerned.
Under the new deal, he will receive $9 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014. The club option for 2015 carries a $14 million salary if it's exercised and a $3 million buyout if it isn't. The contract also includes a limited no-trade clause, allowing Billingsley to block trades to 10 teams.
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"Being a pitcher, it's nice to have the security to fall back on in case something happens -- because you only have so many throws in this arm," Billingsley said. "But I've been fortunate not to have too many health issues, except for hamstring problems.
"It's a blessing for this opportunity to come my way, and I'm going to continue to focus on what I need to do. I want to continue to get better. I haven't figured this game out. I'm still learning every day I step out on the mound."
Billingsley, the No. 2 pitcher in the Dodgers' rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, will make his season debut Friday night against San Francisco.
"Through his professional career, Chad has shown that he is very capable of winning games and taking the ball,'' Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a news release issued by the club. "His won-loss record speaks to that as well as his innings-pitched totals."
In five major league seasons, Billingsley, 26, has a record of 59-41 and a 3.55 ERA. He has reached the 200-innings plateau only once, in 2008, but he has pitched at least 190 innings each of the past three seasons.
Last year, Billingsley posted the longest scoreless innings streak of his career, blanking the opposition over 24 2/3 innings from July 21-Aug. 5. He didn't allow a home run over a span 92 innings, longest in the majors last season.
"When I got drafted in 2003, I didn't really know much about the Dodgers organization," he said. "After I started minor league camp, I really liked the history, the tradition and the winning that this organization represented. It was something that I enjoyed being part of, and I'm happy to be a part of it for a few more years.
"Not making the playoffs last year after two years in the NLCS, my main goal is to make the postseason again," Billingsley added. "That's what we're all working for. And as long as the team is winning, all the personal goals will be there in the end."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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