In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Brian Wilson exercised his $9.5 million player option on Monday and will return to the much maligned Dodgers’ bullpen in 2015. Sigh.
Wilson signed a 2-year deal last offseason that included a player option, hence the reason he will return to the Dodgers. Oh, and the fact that he was awful and he would be foolish to walk away from free money. At the time, I liked the deal. I was lulled into a sense that Wilson was actually good again, but I was sorely mistaken.
Any way you look at it, Wilson was bad. He had a 4.66 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 4.25 xFIP, -0.4 WAR, 5.4 BB/9 … he was awful. I mean, at least he struck out 10.1 batters per nine innings, if you want a silver lining. He established career-worst velocity marks on all his pitches this season, despite claims he could dial it up to 95 MPH once the playoffs came around. He’ll be in the bullpen, unless Andrew Friedman can figure out a way to move him.
Here’s what the bullpen looks like at present:
And there are these guys who figure to be in the mix:
- Pedro Baez (for some reason)
- Drew Butera (only half-kidding)
- Daniel Coulombe
- Jose Dominguez
- Carlos Frias
- Yimi Garcia
- Matt Magill (I know, I know)
That’s before even thinking about bringing back Jamey Wright or going after guys on the free agent- or trade market. Also, Chris Withrow might be back at some point, but I’m not sure how effective he’ll be. That’s a lot of pitchers.
And the thing is, Wilson is about the worst of the bunch. As of now, he brings no value to the Dodgers – negative value, even. Unless he either rediscovers his command or velocity and command, he won’t be anything more than a mop-up guy. Let’s just hope Don Mattingly stops using him in high-leverage situations.
In somewhat surprising news, Scott Elbert was given his outright release after refusing a minor-league assignment. He has battled injuries during his entire career, but his stuff has always been pretty good. He could be a nice reclamation project for a team, if the Dodgers don’t have interest in bringing him back in some capacity (they probably don’t).
The Dodgers now have $186.5 million committed to 15 players. This doesn’t include pay raises coming to Jansen, Dee Gordon, etc. That whole “$190 million Dodger payroll” definitely isn’t happening this year.
Next up: A general manager announcement, and the offseason really begins.