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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.