Chad Billingsley threw a simulated game yesterday, looks OK

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Chad Billingsley’s season ended prematurely with a partial tear of an elbow ligament. He and the Dodgers decided to forego Tommy John surgery in favor of platelet-rich plasma injections.  So far so good, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

Chad Billingsley pitched to hitters for two pain-free innings Monday, a sign that he may be able to avoid reconstructive elbow surgery this off-season.

“It looks like he’s going to be ready for the 2013 season,” said Dave Stewart, Billingsley’s agent.

He threw around 40 pitches and touched 94 on the gun. Good signs, even if it’s hard to remember many guys with such injuries who didn’t, eventually, have to go under the knife.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.