The Brian Wilson era in Los Angeles is officially over. The Dodgers released Wilson and his beard on Friday and ate the last year of his contract. He would’ve made $9.5 million in 2015.
Wilson came to LA during the 2013 season and pitched 18 innings of relief starting in August, pitching to a 0.66 ERA. That led to the Dodgers re-signing Wilson for two years and close to $20 million last offseason.
Wilson had become famous for being the closer on the 2010 Giants and growing a beard along with his setup man Sergio Romo. That’s when the phrase “Fear the Beard” was born. Life got tough for Wilson at the beginning of 2012 as he hurt his arm and ended up having Tommy John surgery that sat him out until he appeared in a game for the Dodgers in August of the following year.
Wilson had a 4.66 ERA in 48 1/3 innings pitched last year and didn’t look well on the mound. Wilson is still young enough to perform though and with the amount of teams looking for a reliever I wouldn’t be surprised if a team signed him reasonably quick. A team like the Tigers could add him as a cheap option that might work out.
Wilson’s biggest issue is that he allows many base runners; having a 1.35 career WHIP hurts him. He’s strictly a one inning guy at this point, but if he wants to stick with another team he’s going to have to work this spring on making that inning a good one. Wilson will be 33 when the 2015 season starts and though his saves isn’t always the most reliable, he has 172 of those in his career, which says he has the stuff to hold down a late inning gig if he gets things straightened out. Wilson allowed three of 11 inherited runners to score last year, and advanced stats, such as xFIP, FIP, and SIERA all say Wilson got somewhat unlucky with his ERA last season.