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Dodgers 2013 review: Brian Wilson

The former San Francisco closer pitched well enough to be the Dodgers' primary setup man in October.

Jeff Gross

The Dodgers took a chance on a rebound for Brian Wilson, and he was even better than they could have hoped for.

What went right

Just about everything, really. Wilson joined the Dodgers in mid-August, 16 months after Tommy John surgery. He didn't quite have the fastball of his heyday — he averaged between 92.6 and 93.2 mph in 2013, down 3-4 ticks from his peak in San Francisco — but Wilson effectively used a cutter to carve up hitters down the stretch.

Wilson was only with the Dodgers for five and a half weeks, but 17 of his 18 appearances were scoreless. He struck out 13 while only allowing eight runners to reach base in 13⅔ innings. Wilson even stranded 10 of his 11 inherited runners.

By October, Wilson was the main setup man to closer Kenley Jansen. He struck out eight more in six playoff innings and in his postseason career has yet to allow an earned run in 17⅔ innings.

In short, Wilson was everything the Dodgers could have asked for. He was well worth the $1 million flyer for the Dodgers, and it was good for Wilson too, reestablishing his value as a potent back-end reliever heading into the open market.

What went wrong

Wilson gave up a run once. On Sept. 7 in Cincinnati.

2014 status

Wilson is a free agent, and likely to get a deal to close again somewhere. My guess is that Wilson will surpass Brandon League money (3/$21m) and settle closer to Rafael Soriano territory (2/$28m).