Chad Billingsley was dressing at his Dodger Stadium locker Monday when a passerby said, "Congratulations."

Billingsley smiled, but the soft-spoken right-hander said nothing.

The starting pitcher had reached tentative agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract extension worth between $35 million and $36 million, with a possible option for a fourth year, two people familiar with the talks said earlier in the day.

Billingsley, 26, would confirm only that he was in contract negotiations that began during spring training, but he would not discuss any specific terms.

The Dodgers also declined to comment on the report from the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been signed.

But Billingsley said he hoped to extend his career with the Dodgers. He was the Dodgers' first-round draft pick in 2003, and he went 12-11 with a 3.57 earned-run average last year in his fourth full season with the club. He has a career mark of 59-41.

"I started my career here in 2003 and love what this organization stands for," he said.