The Phillies just announced that they have agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Chad Billingsley. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that he’ll receive a $1.5 million guarantee and could make more with performance bonuses.
Billingsley hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of 2013. The 30-year-old made a pair of minor league rehab starts with the Dodgers last season prior to having another surgery, this time to repair the flexor tendon in his elbow.
Prior to the injuries, Billingsley had a solid 3.65 ERA over 190 starts and 29 relief appearances in the majors, so he’s a worthy gamble at this price for the rebuilding Phillies. They might be able to turn him into something at the trade deadline if he comes back healthy and effective.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.