Dodgers finalize Brian Wilson's deal

Updated: December 7, 2013, 5:49 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a one-year deal to bring back reliever Brian Wilson on Saturday, but general manager Ned Colletti said he would like to add at least one more reliever to his bullpen.

Colletti also said he's open to trading one of his four outfielders and that other teams have shown serious interest in a group that includes three All-Stars and Rookie of the Year runner-up Yasiel Puig.

[+] EnlargeBrian Wilson
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesBrian Wilson posted a 0.66 ERA in 18 appearances with the Dodgers last season.

Wilson, a former All-Star closer, chose to return to the Dodgers as the setup man to closer Kenley Jansen. Colletti said the opportunity to pitch in the city where he lives and the addition of a player option for 2015 closed the deal for Wilson.

Wilson will make $10 million next season and will have the option to return in 2015 for anywhere from $8.5 million to $10 million, depending on how many games he pitches in 2014. Wilson also can earn an additional $700,000 per year in incentives.

"When all the different people in your organization are unanimous when you talk about whether to bring someone back, that speaks pretty highly to what that person accomplished here," Colletti said. "He brought a lot to our bullpen. He brought stability, he brought veteran leadership."

Wilson, the former San Francisco Giants closer, went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 18 games with the Dodgers.

A strong and deep bullpen was a significant factor in the Dodgers' run to the NL West title in 2013. Los Angeles' bullpen went 30-24 with an aggregate 3.49 ERA, while ranking seventh in the league in strikeouts (451) and fourth in batting average against (.240).

The Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies were among the other teams that expressed interest in Wilson during his free-agent search. The New York Yankees, another potential suitor, fell by the wayside once it became clear that Wilson would not be willing to shave his trademark beard in accordance with the club's facial hair policy.

The Dodgers signed Wilson to a $1 million contract on July 30 after scouting several of his workouts. He was promoted to the majors on Aug. 19.

The Dodgers did not tender an offer to former setup man Ronald Belisario last week, resulting in him becoming a free agent. He later agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Chicago White Sox.

Colletti said he would like to add a left-hander and, perhaps another righty to a bullpen that now includes Jansen, Wilson, Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow. He said he has had weekly discussions with the agent for left-handed reliever J.P. Howell.

The Dodgers' other priority heading to Lake Buena Vista, Fla. for the winter meetings that start Monday is finding a third baseman.

Colletti said talks have slowed down with Juan Uribe in recent weeks after the club made the infielder "a few" offers and was waiting for his response. Uribe is believed to be seeking a two-year deal.

Colletti said other general managers have called about all four outfielders -- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Puig.

Colletti said some of the proposals were "pretty interesting," while others were exploratory.

"We're open to doing it as long as it makes sense and we like who we're getting back," Colletti said.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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