The former Giants closer missed a season and a half after Tommy John surgery in 2012, but the Dodgers got quite a bit of bang for their $1 million investment in Wilson for the final two months of the 2013 season. Wilson allowed one run in his 18 regular season appearances and by October was the primary setup man for Kenley Jansen.
In the regular season and playoffs combined for the Dodgers, Wilson had an 0.46 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 19⅔ innings, while allowing just 18 runners to reach base.
Wilson, after reestablishing his value on the field, was primed to cash in on the free agent market, likely signing somewhere to close. Or at least get closer money, which it might take to retain his services.
The Dodgers lost some bullpen depth on Monday when they didn't tender Ronald Belisario a contract, making him a free agent.
Wilson had been linked to the Tigers for some time, but Detroit on Tuesday came to an agreement to sign closer . It was reportedly Wilson who backed out of talks with the Tigers, per Lynn Henning of the Detroit News: instead
Tigers chased Brian Wilson until yesterday, at which time he told them: He had other plans. Meaning, he wants to stick on the West Coast.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) December 3, 2013
The good news from the Dodgers standpoint is that the contract will reportedly only be a one-year deal, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, allowing Wilson to hit the free agent market again next winter.
Wilson is also reportedly fine with returning to the Dodgers as Jansen's setup man, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Jansen, who saved 28 of 32 chances and put up a 1.88 ERA in 2013, is more firmly entrenched than ever as Dodgers closer. But he has begun each of the last two seasons as setup man despite clearly being the best pitcher in the Dodgers bullpen. Jansen took over as closer in 2012 on May 7, and in 2013 on June 11.
With the addition of the proven closer Wilson in August the Dodgers were adamant that Jansen was still the closer, but Wilson was also coming off 16 months of inactivity after Tommy John surgery. Whether the Dodgers sign Wilson to close or not, having both Jansen and Wilson in relief is a good thing, and the team is using their financial wherewithal to add to their bullpen depth.