The Dodgers made a bold move to strengthen their bullpen Tuesday, signing former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson to a one-year contract.
Wilson, who has gone 20-20 with 171 saves in 315 games with the Giants, is more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The New Hampshire native agreed to a deal for the remainder of the season but will report to the Dodgers’ minor-league complex in Arizona on a rehab assignment. He’s expected to join the team in about two weeks.
“The way I understand it, it’s not costing us any players, and it’s a guy that’s had the ball in his hands for the last out of the World Series,” said manager Don Mattingly. “He’s a guy that wants to be here, wants to compete. We’re excited.”
In 320 innings, Wilson has limited opposing hitters to a .238 batting average with 340 strikeouts, and he has historically been a second-half pitcher with a 2.69 ERA in 149 post-All-Star appearances.
Wilson, 31, worked out in the Bay Area last week. Among those watching him was Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti, but the Giants had no interest because of their growing deficit in the National League West race. Wilson reportedly had three offers but picked the division-leading Dodgers.
The bearded right-hander isn’t likely to take over the closer’s role, which is firmly in the hands of Kenley Jansen, but he may share the setup job with Ronald Belisario or be used in middle-innings situation. He had 171 career saves in seasons seasons, all with the Giants.
Wilson saved three games for San Francisco in the 2010 World Series and was on the mound for the clinching victory. He last pitched in the majors on April 12, 2012.