Dodgers Minor League Free Agent Justin Wilson Signs With Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds announced the signing of Justin Wilson to a one-year contract for the 2024 season. Wilson is going to wear No. 32 in his second stint with the Reds.

Wilson’s new contract is worth a reported $1.5 million base salary and includes incentives that can total an additional $1 million.

He joined Cincinanti shortly after opting out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wilson signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers in the middle of February.

Wilson had somewhat of a shaky Dodgers Spring Training debut, but responded to allow just one run over three ensuing appearances. Wilson collected six strikeouts and issued just two walks over four innings pitched in his four games for the Dodgers.

The 36-year-old opting out of his Dodgers contract came as somewhat of a surprise but was an indication a guaranteed opportunity was available.

The Reds bullpen faced a need for left-hander in the wake of Alex Young suffering a setback with his back injury.

Wilson has officially pitched 11 seasons in the Majors, but including last year that was lost to injury, has been around for 12.

Wilson’s best stretch of his career came in two seasons with the Reds from 2021-2022, when he carried a 2.75 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 2.75 FIP in 19.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately, Wilson’s 2022 season was cut short after going down with a left elbow injury.

Why did Justin Wilson opt out?

The Dodgers have plenty of depth in their bullpen but lack left-handed arms compared to previous seasons. Wilson’s ability to induce swing and miss is an area the Dodgers figured to accentuate and see great value in retaining.

Instead, Alex Vesia is the Alex Vesia is the only left-handed reliever poised to be on the Dodgers roster. The team also has Ryan Yarbrough, but he is likely going to be filling a swingman role and make occasional starts.

The door appeared to possibly be open for Wilson to make the Dodgers bullpen, but it’s also likely there was a conversation with the front office as to the likelihood of that.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!