MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday. The right-hander is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent on April 25 last year.
The Dodgers have had tremendous production out of all five slots in the starting rotation, so it’s hard to imagine Billingsley pushing anyone out when he’s ready. As a result, the Dodgers could use Billingsley out of the bullpen.
Billingsley, 29, hasn’t pitched since April 15 against the Padres last season. The right-hander is earning $12 million this season and the Dodgers have a $14 million option on him with a $3 million buy out for the 2015 season.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.