Veteran reliever ends Opening Day roster quest, opts out of Dodgers contract

Los Angeles Dodgers Photo Day
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Some people take hints. Others dismiss them.

If we had to look for a silver lining following injuries to three Dodgers pitchers this past weekend, it could be the possibility of seeing a few interesting changes or additions to a roster that seemed basically complete going into spring training. The losses of Brusdar Graterol, Emmet Sheehan, and Blake Treinen — even if some may be gone for longer than others — open the door for more talent to make itself known.

At Dodgers camp, the big guns have been doing what's expected of them, and a few names we already knew (Gavin Stone, Michael Grove) are gunning for Sheehan's vacated No. 5 spot in the rotation.

Over 20 prospects and NRIs have already been optioned back to the minors or sent to minor league camp and the Opening Day roster probably won't contain too many surprises, but there is still a possibility for one or two relievers to break out of camp.

Dave Roberts named Justin Wilson, a minor league signing this offseason, as a pitcher he has his eye on over the weekend. Per Fabian Ardaya, Roberts said, "I just know that when he gets out there, I get excited watching him throw" (subscription required).

Unfortunately, Wilson apparently didn't feel the same level of excitement about his chances with the Dodgers, and might've believed he could see through Roberts' praise. He triggered a contract opt-out on Tuesday, and will seek other opportunities.

Dave Roberts, Dodgers say goodbye to veteran reliever Justin Wilson

Wilson has pitched four innings in spring training for a 4.50 ERA, but he's also struck out nine batters and only walked two. In what's coming up on a 12-year career, he's been a member of eight different major league organizations, including the Dodgers. He's shown flashes of real effectiveness throughout his career, the most recent of which was a 39-inning, 2.54 ERA season with the Mets in 2019.

He hasn't pitched since 2022 with the Reds, when he only pitched 3 2/3 innings before reporting elbow soreness and having to undergo Tommy John. He was scheduled to come back with the Brewers in 2023, but injured his lat while warming up in the bullpen before his appearance and sat for the rest of the year.

With Graterol out of the picture for a while, Treinen's status TBD, and Stone the most plausible candidate to become the Dodgers' last starter, there could've been a couple of spots for Wilson and other unexpected candidates to step into for the beginning of the season. Wilson has, instead, removed himself from the equation.