The San Diego Padres won’t draft until 41st overall in June because they signed James Shields. (Getty Images)
When James Shields‘ contract with the San Diego Padres becomes official — he’s reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year contract — the Dodgers will hold the 35th overall pick in the June draft.
That’s in addition to the 24th overall pick that was theirs by virtue of their 2014 regular season record.
None of this became official until today, when the 2015 draft order was finally set. Why did it take so long?
Because Shields rejected a qualifying offer from the Kansas City Royals before signing with the Padres, the Padres forfeited the 13th overall pick in the draft (and won’t draft until the 41st overall pick). And because Shields was the last unsigned free agent who’d rejected a qualifying offer, every team can confidently say where it will pick June 8.
That’s the short version of what went into setting the draft order; BaseballAmerica.com has a nice breakdown of the particulars.
The Dodgers were among several teams scouting second baseman Hector Olivera at a showcase in the Dominican Republic, according to BaseballAmerica.com.
Olivera, 29, hasn’t been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. He reportedly defected from Cuba last September. In 10 seasons in Cuba’s top league, Olivera was a career .323/.407/.505 hitter who walked more often than he struck out. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds by BA, his power translated well in Friday’s showcase. And the Dodgers were watching. Writes Ben Badler:
Of all the teams at the showcase today, the Dodgers had the most notable presence. Dodgers vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, VP of amateur and international scouting David Finley and director of player personnel Galen Carr were all there.
The report also lists the Diamondbacks, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Braves as interested parties.
Chad Billingsley made two rehab starts for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014 before an elbow injury ended his season. (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Twitter)
was chosen by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2003 draft. Since then, the Dodgers were the only franchise that employed him. That changed Thursday, when Billingsley signed an incentive-laden, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In Philadelphia, Billingsley joins a starting staff that includes Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, former Dodger Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams and David Buchanan.
Once heralded as a possible right-handed anchor to complement Clayton Kershaw in the Dodgers’ rotation, Billingsley was the Dodgers’ minor-league pitcher of the year in 2004 and 2005. But he only pitched two games the last two years because of elbow injuries. The Dodgers filled out their starting rotation this winter by signing Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson then added depth by acquiring Joe Wieland, Mike Bolsinger, Juan Nicasio and others. By the end of December, Billingsley’s time with the Dodgers was all but officially through.
Billingsley’s 1,037 strikeouts are the 13th-most by a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher. In an interview last September he reflected on his time in the organization, noting that he’s been with the Dodgers more than a third of his life.