The Padres have inked righty Tom Wilhelmsen to a minors deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). He’ll receive an invitation to participate in MLB camp. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that Wilhelmsen will earn a $900K base salary if he makes the roster.
Once an anchor of the Mariners bullpen, Wilhelmsen hit a rough patch upon moving to the Rangers in 2016. While he rebounded somewhat in the second half of that campaign when he returned to Seattle, the veteran settled for a minor-league deal with the Diamondbacks this time last year.
Wilhelmsen, now 34, earned a job in Spring Training and opened the 2017 season as a part of the D-Backs’ relief corps. Things didn’t go quite as hoped, though, as he struggled to a 4.44 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over 26 1/3 innings. While he maintained a mid-nineties heater and induced grounders on about half of the balls put in play against him, Wilhelmsen carried a 6.2% swinging-strike rate that fell well shy of his 10.6% career average.
Ultimately, the Diamondbacks cut ties with Wilhelmsen in the middle of the year. He caught on with the Brewers but was unable to earn his way back to the majors. Now, Wilhelmsen will try to crack the Friars’ pen in camp. It looks like that will represent an uphill battle, as he’ll need to beat out a veteran pitcher such as Jordan Lyles and also hold off some of the organization’s younger options.