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Dodgers Sign Chad Billingsley, Avoid Salary Arbitration

The Dodgers have three players who filed for salary arbitration last week, in pitchers Chad Billingsley and Hong-Chih Kuo, and first baseman James Loney. Today, the day for teams and players to exchange salaries for arbitration, the Dodgers agreed to terms with Billingsley on a one-year deal worth $6.275 million. The deal represents a 63% raise for Billingsley.

Billingsley went 12-11 with a 3.57 ERA in 191 2/3 innings last season for the Dodgers, making $3.85 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility. He had an ERA of 3.00 in 15 starts after the All-Star break, and he gave up just one home run after Memorial Day. In parts of five seasons with the Dodgers, Billingsley is 59-41 with a 3.55 ERA.

In the last three seasons, the club was able to reach 17 different agreements with arbitration eligible players without having an arbitration hearing. Andre Ethier came close to having an arbitration hearing in 2009, but the he was able to reach a contract agreement with the Dodgers just minutes before his hearing was scheduled to begin. The Dodgers last went to an arbitration hearing in 2007, when they defeated reliever Joe Beimel.

The Dodgers have $83.45 million committed to 17 players in 2011 (which doesn't include Marcus Thames, since his contract is not yet finalized), plus another $16.3 million in deferred salaries to players no longer on the team.

For more information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.