The Dodgers are moving toward a new deal with Brian Wilson but still don’t have an agreement with the bearded right-hander, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
Wilson wants to be the team’s closer but would make an exception to pitch again in Los Angeles, where he has an off-season home.
If Wilson returns, he would be a setup man for closer Kenley Jansen — a role with which other top-tier free-agent relievers are said to be uncomfortable. Wilson has asked the Dodgers for the opportunity to pitch in the ninth inning should Jansen falter or get injured.
Returning from reconstructive elbow surgery, Wilson excelled as a setup man with the Dodgers this past year, posting a 0.66 earned-run average in 18 games. He also pitched for the bargain price of $1 million for the season.
The Dodgers must rebuild their bullpen. In addition to Wilson, left-hander J.P. Howell is also a free agent.
The team didn’t tender a contract to Ronald Belisario, who became a free agent.