The righty missed his first start after the All-Star break after right elbow inflammation sent him to the DL. After being activated, Billingsley looked like a different pitcher, and went 6-0 in six starts before Friday's game.
Jerry Hairston, who is awaiting hip surgery, was moved to the 60-day DL and Alex Castellanos was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. The three roster moves made space for newly acquired Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.
After allowing three runs in the first three innings, Billingsley was taken out of Friday's game in the fourth with what was called a tender right elbow. Tests after the game showed inflammation and Billingsley was optimistic.
At Saturday's news conference to announce the blockbuster deal with Boston, general manager Ned Colletti hinted at Billingsley's injury being worse than first expected.
Colletti said Beckett is "somebody who will help our rotation, especially after the news of last night that Chad maybe out for a while."
Prior to hitting the DL in July, Billingsley was an enigma and disappointment for much of the season. He had lost five straight starts heading into the break, and he sported a 4-9 record.
But in his six starts before exiting Friday's series opener with the Marlins, Billingsley had compiled a 1.30 ERA as one of baseball's top pitchers of late.
The injury news didn't stop with Billingsley. Leadoff hitter and left fielder Shane Victorino was a late scratch because of lower back stiffness. He was taken out late in the game Friday after manager Don Mattingly noticed him stretching in the dugout. Mark Ellis moved up to bat leadoff, and Luis Cruz moved from the bottom of the order to bat second with Juan Rivera filling in as the left fielder.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.