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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dodgers rumors: Contract with Brian Wilson drawing near


By on 12/03/2013 06:30:00 PM

The Los Angeles Dodgers are very close to bringing back reliever Brian Wilson. MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers are "making progress in retaining" Wilson, who joined the Dodgers in mid-season in 2013 and helped propel them into the postseason. Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown also announced the deal in progress.
After seeing Wilson undergo Tommy John surgery in April of 2012, many baseball fans and analysts wondered if The Bearded One would even pitch in the Majors again, let alone return to the form he had in 2010 when he helped lead the San Francisco Giants to a World Series victory. Wilson was already a solid closer by then, but that year he became the elite closer in the National League: 48 saves, 1.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 93 strikeouts in 74.2 innings. He saved 26 games the next season before elbow problems sidelined him in mid-August for most of the season's end. Those problems carried over into 2012.

The 2012 surgery was Wilson's second of its kind; he also had Tommy John surgery in 2005, delaying his Major League debut. However, he signed with Los Angeles at the end of July, 2013, and he showed the world that he is healthy and ready to assume any role assigned to him. Wilson went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings in 18 appearances.

Wilson likely will not close for the Dodgers this coming year. Kenley Jansen has earned that role with 28 saves since taking over in June, and it appears that he will hold onto it for quite some time. Wilson, though, makes for a valuable setup man and strong insurance should anything happen to Jansen or his performance.

The Dodgers expect Wilson to get a nice raise from his $1 million he made last year, and to free up money, they non-tendered Ronald Belisario. Gurnick expects the $2.5 million they would have paid Belisario to "be better spent as part of Wilson's salary."


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