UPDATE: Dodgers finalize contract extension with Chad Billingsley

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UPDATE: The deal is done. And as expected, he’ll receive three years and an option for 2015.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Billingsley will be guaranteed at least $35 million from 2012-2014. If the Dodgers exercise the option for 2015, he could make as much as $46 million.

Billingsley will earn $9 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013, $12 million in 2014 and either a $14 million club option for 2015 or a $3 million buyout.

Monday, 8:00 PM: According to Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers and Chad Billingsley have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract extension valued at more than $30 million.

Details aren’t yet available, but multiple sources tell Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles that the deal will cover 2012-2014 with a possible option for 2015. If true, the contract would buy out his final year of arbitration and his first two years of free agency. Billingsley and the Dodgers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.275 million contract in January.

Billingsley, 26, is 59-41 with a 3.55 ERA over his first five major league seasons, averaging 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. The former 2003 first-round pick went 12-11 with a 3.57 ERA over 31 starts last season.

UPDATE: Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the contract is worth $35-36 million, including the buyout of the option year. He adds that the salary for the option year is still being negotiated.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.