Wilson returns to Dodgers with new contract
Setup man signs one-year, $10 million deal plus player option for 2015
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers accomplished their top offseason priority Thursday, re-signing setup reliever Brian Wilson to a one-year contract worth $10 million, according to a baseball source.
Wilson also gets a player option for at least $8.5 million in 2015 that could climb to $10 million, plus $700,000 in incentives. The agreement came shortly after another top free-agent reliever, Edward Mujica, signed for two years with Boston.
Excited to get @BrianWilson38 back! Much needed ping pong competition in spring training.- Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22) December 5, 2013
Coming off a second Tommy John surgery and non-tendered by the Giants a year ago, Wilson signed a $1 million contract with the Dodgers on July 30 and was promoted Aug. 19. He went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 18 games, allowed only one hit in 11 at-bats against lefties and only one of 11 inherited runners to score.
Wilson also was able to pitch multiple innings and on back-to-back days. As he was last season, Wilson has agreed to set up for established closer Kenley Jansen, as well as serve as an occasional closer when Jansen needs a rest.
The Dodgers are paying Wilson like a closer because they need his veteran presence, even more so after non-tendering reliever Ronald Belisario on Monday night. Other right-handers in the bullpen include former closer Brandon League and Chris Withrow
Belisario was in line for a salary around $2.5 million, which the Dodgers apparently believe would be better spent as part of Wilson's salary. The club still needs a veteran left-handed reliever to pair with Paco Rodriguez.
J.P. Howell filled that role in 2013, but he's looking for a three-year deal and the Dodgers aren't eager to hand out another one of those after giving League a three-year deal last winter.
Among the other candidates that were already free agents are Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Kevin Gregg, Fernando Rodney and Jesse Crain. Non-tenders added to that list include John Axford and Mitchell Boggs.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.