The Los Angeles Dodgers have bolstered their bullpen by signing free-agent reliever Brian Wilson. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports first reported the contract agreement:
Brian Wilson and Dodgers have come to contract agreement.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 5, 2013
Wilson contract is one year for $10m, a second year at player option for as much as another $10m, according to sources.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 5, 2013
The Dodgers made the deal official on Saturday:
Brown is reporting that Wilson is expected to continue in his role with the Dodgers as the setup man for Kenley Jansen:
Wilson is fine with setup role for Jansen, if that's how it works out.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 5, 2013
Wilson was a valuable piece for the Dodgers last season, and if he pitches to his potential, he could be a bargain compared to the top closer option on the market, Joe Nathan. Jason Beck of MLB.com reported that Nathan signed a two-year, $20 million deal (with a club option for a third season) with the Detroit Tigers, a team that had kicked the tires on Wilson, per Lynn Henning of The Detroit News, before inking the former Rangers reliever.
Wilson, who joined the Dodgers for their playoff run in August, looked dominant in his return from Tommy John surgery. In 18 appearances for the Dodgers, Wilson posted a 0.66 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 rate as a top-notch setup man.
Before his injury, Wilson established himself as one of the premier finishers in the game, while growing an intense beard that took him out of consideration for a job with the notoriously well-groomed Yankees this offseason. During his final four full seasons in San Francisco, Wilson averaged 41 saves a year with a 3.00 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 10.1 K/9 ratio.
Wilson will turn 32 in March, so he's relatively young compared to the other top free-agent relievers like Nathan (39), Joaquin Benoit (36) and Grant Balfour (35).
With his wild hairdo, overgrown beard and engaging personality, look for Wilson to continue as a fan favorite in Los Angeles. He looked like he didn't miss a beat in his return from his major surgery and should be a productive player for years to come.