LOS ANGELES -- The new Dodgers front office is not shy about shedding deadweight from the roster whenever possible, no matter the cost. The latest example came Tuesday, with relief pitcher Brian Wilson getting designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Brandon McCarthy, whose four-year deal was finalized earlier in the day.
Wilson had a disappointing 2014 season for the Dodgers, putting up a 4.66 ERA in 61 games, with 54 strikeouts and 29 walks in 48⅓ innings. He earned $10 million in 2014, and exercised a $10 million player option to return in 2015. Now, it appears the Dodgers will eat that salary for him not to pitch in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers are also paying approximately $12.5 million to Miami to cover the salaries of the traded Dan Haren and Dee Gordon, and will pay a reported $32 million of Matt Kemp's remaining salary as he plays in San Diego, a deal that is expected to be finalized this week.
"The contract is the contract. We don't want to be sort of tied down by financial obligations," Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call on Tuesday. "We're just trying to build the best team we can for 2015."
That best team does not include Wilson, who was pushed further down the depth chart with moves made this offseason by the Dodgers, including the additions of Joel Peralta, Juan Nicasio and Chris Hatcher.
"With some of the bullpen additions we made bringing in Peralta, Nicasio, Hatcher, we felt particularly with the right-handed relievers we had some depth and options we were comfortable with," Zaidi said. "There was a little bit of a surplus."
Wilson saw a drop in his velocity during the season, down to 91.18 mph on average in August and 89.75 mph in September, per Brooks Baseball. But Zaidi said Wilson's right arm had nothing to do with the move.
"We've been keeping tabs on him in the offseason. This was not a move made out of any medical concern. It was related to performance," Zaidi said. "Every move we make is about putting the best team on the field we can for 2015. "At this point, we didn't feel like he was one of the best seven reliever options we had."
The Dodgers have 10 days to decide what to do with Wilson. They can try to trade him, though it seems unlikely the club would get much if anything for him, even paying his entire salary, or eventually place him on waivers, which he will undoubtedly clear, leading to his release. But it is clear Wilson won't be pitching with the Dodgers any longer.
"We have had conversations with other clubs leading up to this to see if there is interest out there," Zaidi said. "We have a few days to sort that out."