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Dodgers Pitcher Who Turned Heads in Camp Opts Out of Deal With LA, Elects Free Agency

He pitched himself out of his minor league deal with the Dodgers.

Over the last several years, the Dodgers have been a pitching factory. Not only do they draft and develop as well as anyone, but they also help revive the careers of veteran pitchers.

In the past, they have helped relievers Chris Martin and Shelby Miller reach free agency and sign lucrative deals after a year in Los Angeles. This year, they seem to have already done the same for 36-year-old left-handed deliver Justin Wilson.

Wilson, who was having a strong camp with the Dodgers, reportedly opted out of his contract on Tuesday to hit free agency.

Before he opted out, though, he got some high praise from Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who said he got excited when Wilson took the mound.

"Coming back from some injuries, he’s really been a surprise. Obviously, signing him, we didn’t know what to expect, because he hasn’t pitched competitively for a couple years at the major-league level. So I don’t know his status. I just know that when he gets out there, I get excited watching him throw."

Dave Roberts via Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register

Wilson last pitched back in 2022 where he appeared in five games with the Cincinnati Reds. He had Tommy John surgery that year and proceeded to miss all of 2023.

A journeyman reliever, Wilson has a career 3.41 ERA across 11 MLB seasons. He has a three-pitch arsenal of a four-seam fastball, cutter, and slider.

This spring, he appeared in four games with the Dodgers. He gave up two earned runs but struck out nine batters in only four innings of work.

Now, Wilson is hoping to parlay his success with the Dodgers into a deal with a different team, one he'll hope to have a chance to crack the Opening Day roster with.

As for the Dodgers, their bullpen picture is getting a little more clearer with Wilson now out of the mix.