If you don’t know by now that the Arizona Diamondbacks are focusing on starting pitching this off-season, then I don’t know where you have been. While the Dbacks wont be in on the top free agents like Max Scherzer, James Shields, and Jon Lester.
The Diamondbacks do have a lot of financially reasonable options both in the free agent and the trade market. One of those options is free agent RHP Chad Billingsley.
Billingsley has missed the last two seasons with elbow and flexor tendon injuries, and he could be available at a fair price. He used to be regarded as a solid number two starter.
Billingsley missed all of 2014, and made just one start in 2013. His best season in the majors came in 2008 when he went 16-10 with a 3.14 era in 32 starts over 200.2 innings pitched.
Here is one major factor to keep in mind when it comes to Billingsley and the Dbacks: Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart was Billingsley’s agent up until the time he joined the Snakes, so there is plenty of familiarity.
This is what Stewart said at the General Manager’s Meetings on Tuesday:
“Chad is a guy who definitely we would have to consider as well,” Stewart said. “I know his health history. Unless something drastic has changed in the last month or two, I know where he is going to be in November, January and February, which he is supposed to be pitching-ready for spring training.
“So, yeah, he would definitely be a possibility for me. I know him as a person as well, and know how he’ll fit in our clubhouse.”
Stewart also made several other things clear about his team’s plans for this winter on Tuesday.
Shortstop Cliff Pennington has been speculated by many including me as a possible non-tender candidate, but Stewart shot down that.
I know we are going to have him back,” Stewart said. “He is not a non-tender guy. He plays a very good role for us.”
He also discussed the Snakes interest in Yasmany Tomas saying they don’t know how big of a player they will be:
“I don’t know how big we’re going to play,” Stewart said. “He’s a guy who could have some pretty big impact on our team and in our lineup. We have to consider being part of that.”
Apparently Mark Trumbo will be playing RF next year, because he has told the team that it would be a better fit.
“He’s expressed that there is some comfort in that position for him,” Stewart said. “Organizationally, we are going to look at the option of playing him out there.”
According to Stewart, nothing has happened on the Montero front:
“I don’t see any point in raising concerns when there are none,” he said. “At this point, there are no concerns.”
Stewart says that he wants the Dbacks to win as soon as possible, and at the same time all of his players have been talked about.
Here is what I know: Stewart is very open about talking what his team is trying to accomplish this winter, and Billingsley is very much on the Snakes radar.