After appearing to strike gold with the signing of Brian Wilson in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves the following season with a reliever that performed on the opposite end of the spectrum.
In just his second appearance of the season, Wilson gave up three runs in the eighth inning to the San Diego Padres and was subsequently placed on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right elbow. The start of the year wound up setting the tone for Wilson as he never quite managed to regain form.
The new Dodgers front office is not enamored with righty Brian Wilson, sources say.
Despite reportedly being down on Wilson, the Dodgers have only addressed their bullpen in the form of trading for Joel Peralta. They missed — or passed — on marquee free agent reliever Andrew Miller who signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the New York Yankees.
The contract made Miller the highest paid setup man in MLB history, which may have played a role in the Dodgers backing off the southpaw, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
In the case of Miller, Dodgers higher-ups, including team president Stan Kasten, were already known to be frustrated by high-priced relief deals gone awry (Brandon League, Brian Wilson).
Along with Wilson’s $10 million salary in 2015, Brandon League will earn $8.5 million and J.P. Howell is under contract for $5.5 million. Kenley Jansen was one of seven players tendered and MLB Trade Rumors projected he’ll receive $8.2 million through the arbitration process.
Addressing the bullpen could come in the form of signing Jon Lester, who conceivably would serve as another capable of routinely pitching deep into games, which would alleviate some of the pressure placed on the relievers.
As for a more direct solution, though perhaps not as big of a fish as Miller, viable free agent options still exist. Luke Gregerson or Pat Neshek, for example, could fit more in line with what the Dodgers are willing to spend on a reliever.