LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2013 — In a move that has become so commonplace under general manager Ned Colletti, the Dodgers have signed the former closer of the San Francisco Giants, Brian Wilson. The reliever has been recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, which occurred in April 2012.
Brian Wilson saved 171 games with a 3.21 ERA for the Giants from 2006 until his injury in 2012. Four of those years were spent as the primary closer for San Francisco, including six saves during the team’s World Series run in 2010.
Wilson grew up in New Hampshire and attended college ate Louisiana State. He was drafted in the 24th round on the 2003 amateur draft. He makes his offseason home in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers signed Wilson to a contract that will pay him $1 million of the course of the rest of the season. He will report to the Dodgers’ Arizona facility and pitch in minor league games. The hope is that he will be ready to join the Dodgers big league team in two or three weeks. At a workout recently for Dodger officials at UCLA, Wilson was clocked between 90 and 93 miles per hour.
Brian Wilson becomes just another former Giant to find his way onto a Ned Colletti roster. Whether it was Jeff Kent, Jason Schmidt or Juan Uribe, Ned Colletti has no problem adding players from the Dodgers’ bitter rival.
There was a day long ago when things like rivalries mattered. There was a day when players in both the Los Angeles and San Francisco farm systems were raised on hating the other team. To ever play for the other team was unheard of, unless the player did it out of spite.
Former longtime Dodger pitching coach, Ron Perranoski, went to work for the Giants only after he felt the Dodgers had slighted him. Going to the Giants was the best payback Perranoski could think of to get back at the Dodgers. Perranoski still serves as a special assistant to Giants GM Brian Sabean.
Those days are gone. The fans are more into the rivalry than the players or GMs. The players regularly intermingle with other players on rival teams. Players move around so much with free agency that they have no real allegiance to any one team. General managers simply look at what players are available and which signings make the most business sense.
Dodger fans have the bloated contract of what turned out to be a useless Jason Schmidt still burning in their mouths. While this year Juan Uribe is actually providing the Dodgers with a solid glove at third and a serviceable bat at the plate, he has for much of his ridiculously high contract been a dud who was benched last year for poor play.
The signing of Wilson may end up paying off for the Dodgers. He will serve as a setup man for new closer, Kenley Jansen. No word, yet, on if the Dodgers will require Wilson to dye his famous beard blue or not.
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