Sarah's Take: Wilson signing a smart move for Dodgers

Sarah's Take: Wilson signing a smart move for Dodgers

Despite the high price of relievers, the Dodgers might have bolstered their bullpen when they signed Brian Wilson.

Every team that has hopes of going to the playoffs wants to strengthen its bullpen. With the additional Wild Card spot, more Major League teams have dreams of reaching the postseason.

The Trade Deadline is Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT, and there has not been much action so far.

According to Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, the prices for relievers are too inflated. During the team's remarkable run over the past month, where the Dodgers have gone from last to first place in the National League West, the bullpen has been amazing. However, Colletti has identified it as an area where the Dodgers could be strengthened, but he doesn't want to pay high prices.

Many fans might ask why the Dodgers don't stay with their current roster. After all, Los Angeles has won 26 out of its last 32 games. For the first time in the Dodgers' 123-year history, they have come out of the All-Star break with a 10-1 record.

Why would Colletti do anything unless he could make a spectacular move guaranteed to help the team go deep in the playoffs?

Before the break, Colletti obtained Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins to bolster the starting rotation. Since he has been living a dream, playing for his hometown team, Nolasco has pitched well. He has helped to give the Dodgers a formidable starting rotation, taking some of the pressure off the bullpen and offense.

In addition to acquiring Nolasco, Colletti traded Matt Guerrier to the Cubs for their closer, Carlos Marmol. A couple of years ago, Marmol was one of the nastiest closers in baseball, but something went wrong. Marmol began having trouble locating the strike zone, becoming increasingly ineffective.

The Dodgers' scouting system detected a fixable mechanical flaw in Marmol's delivery. Immediately after obtaining Marmol, Los Angeles sent him to the Minors to work on his mechanics.

When Jose Dominguez strained his quadriceps while the team was in Toronto, the Dodgers promoted Marmol. He still has the same velocity that he had when he was one of the best closers in baseball, but his location issues persist. If Marmol doesn't improve quickly, the Dodgers likely will release him, in which case the Cubs would pay the remainder of his contract.

Since Colletti understands how quickly a bullpen can be either decimated by injuries or overused, he believes the Dodgers can't have too many relievers, hence the Wilson signing.

Wilson, the former closer of the Giants, hasn't pitched in the Majors since April 2012. He has had two Tommy John elbow surgeries during his career, the latest in 2012. Wilson was a free agent after last year, with no team wanting to sign a reliever still recovering from surgery.

During a recent workout at UCLA, Wilson impressed scouts from the Dodgers' organization. His fastball ranged from 90-to-93 mph, fast enough for the team to offer him a contract. The plan is to send Wilson to the Minors for two weeks and then promote him if everything goes well.

When Wilson was healthy, he was one of the best closers in baseball, but the Dodgers will keep Kenley Jansen as their closer, using Wilson as a setup man.

Wilson has a four-seam fastball that averages 98 mph when he's healthy. He throws a hard sinker to get out the opposition on a ground ball. He has a cutter, which most hitters can't hit, and a slider. He also has experimented with a curveball, changeup and knuckleball.

Sarah D. Morris can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.