As subscribers to the notion that “information is king,” Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi regularly refused to tip their hand during nightly media availability at the winter meetings.
Zaidi went so far as to dismiss the idea that Matt Kemp was on the verge of being traded to the San Diego Padres and refuted a report that the team was shopping All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon. Two days after Zaidi’s comments on a potential Kemp trade, the outfielder was bound for San Diego; one day after saying Gordon wasn’t on the block, he was part of a seven-player trade with the Miami Marlins.
Following Howie Kendrick’s introductory press conference on Friday, Friedman held a conference call that he nearly got through before showing his cards when asked by Eric Stephen of True Blue LA if a market had formed for Ryan Lavarnway or Brian Wilson — two players the Dodgers recently designated for assignment.
Friedman didn’t offer a specific answer but said news on both players would be out shortly. Less than an hour later, the Dodgers announced Lavarnway was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. By Friday night, the other shoe fell as the Dodgers announced Wilson was released three days after being DFA’d.
Beginning Tuesday, the Dodgers had 10 days to trade Wilson or place him on waivers. Coming off a down season, the trade market for the right-hander figured to be minuscule if not nonexistent. On top of his struggles in 2014, Wilson would come at a significant cost — $9.5 million to be exact and all fully guaranteed in 2015.
However, the Dodgers likely would have been willing to pay a portion of his remaining salary in a trade as they’ve done with Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Matt Kemp. After allowing one earned run in 13.2 innings in 2013 followed by six scoreless innings in the postseason, Wilson resembled nothing of that reliever in 2014.
Wilson was placed on the disabled list after just two appearances and never fully recovered, which was evident in his lack of control and lower pitch velocity. In 48.1 innings, Wilson allowed 26 runs (25 earned) and issued 29 walks.
Wilson’s ERA ballooned to 4.66, compared to 0.66 in 2013 and his WHIP jumped to 1.61 from 0.88 the previous season. The Dodgers could see a small savings if Wilson is to sign with a team, which likely would come at the $507,500 Major-League minimum and be deducted from the $9.5 million they owe the 32 year old.
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