Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brian Wilson Being Courted by Detroit, What Will it Take to Keep Him in a Dodger Uniform?

(photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
With the Detroit Tigers reported to be narrowing in on the free agent signing of Brian WIlson, the following question surfaces with Dodger fans:  How much should the Dodgers be willing to pay to retain his services?

At age 31, Wilson returned from his 2012 season ending Tommy John surgery in great form.  Then as the season wore on during the pennant race stretch, he simply got stronger.  Wilson only allowed one run in one outing for the Dodgers in 24 appearances in both the regular and post season.  He was remarkably good.   He put himself in a position to earn a big money contract in 2014.   Dodger brass had to go in to the offseason realizing that a tandem of Wilson and Kenley Jansen at the back end of their relief corps for a full season would be about as good as any duo in the game.  

So we all wonder how serious the deep-pocketed Dodgers are to keep the bearded wonder.  Keeping that "lights out" combination intact has to be of high priority.  Wilson enjoyed his time as a Dodger and was the consummate teammate.  He already was reported by Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times say that if the Dodgers agree to pay him closer money, he would welcome returning to Los Angeles, (reported via Twitter on November 13, 2013).  As of yet there are no free agent closers that have been signed this off-season, so comparable contracts in this market are not out there, but there are some hints that the cost will be quite high.
The Angels signed Cleveland set up man Joe Smith on November 24th. (photo by Mark Duncan/AP)

The Angels signed Cleveland set up man Joe Smith to a 3 year/$16 million dollar deal.  A contract that many felt was excessive.  The Giants re-signed their sidearming LOOGY Javier Lopez to a 3 year/$13 million dollar contract.  All that for a guy that comes in to get a lefthander out.   That is out of this world money for set up men and relief specialists in today’s game, but the Dodgers might want to consider paying the exorbitant costs to keep their closing tandem intact.  Most would agree that the role of Wilson far outweighs those of the two relief pitchers listed above.   The Dodgers might want to visit the possibility of Jansen and Wilson sharing the closer’s role in 2014.

With the Smith and Lopez contracts already signed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see premier closer money in the neighborhood of $10 million per year.  That being said, it is expected to see Detroit offer Wilson a 3 year deal in the neighborhood between $27 and $30 million.  Are the Dodgers willing to go that far?  They'll have to be if they want to keep Wilson in Dodger blue.  As deep pocketed as the Dodger organization is, we'll see how seriously they view their bullpen in the coming days.


  1. This one is hard to call. On one hand you have to want this guy on the team, but is he worth spending stupid money to have him. Obviously the ownership has shown a willingness to spend but is he the right guy to spend it on ?? After all we do have a top notch closer and several guys that can handle the setup role. Now are they as good as a Wilson / Jensen combo ?? IMO the answer is no and for that my vote goes toward spending the money to get the best !!

  2. Chris Withrow has the stuff to grow into the set up role. If the Dodgers are going into Phase II as Kasten calls it, then they have to move in that direction.

    This is not a knock on Wilson. It is simply that he is going to sign for big bucks as a closer elsewhere, and why wouldn't he.

    More important signing is JP Howell.