Brian Wilson exercises 2015 option, will be back with Dodgers

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:

  1. Kenley Jansen
  2. Paco Rodriguez
  3. J.P. Howell
  4. Brandon League
  5. Brian Wilson

And there are these guys who figure to be in the mix:

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.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.