By Jon Weisman
Jamey Wright, who turned 41 exactly one month ago and who hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since 2014, has signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers and received a non-roster invitation to big-league Spring Training.
Wright has had two separate previous stints with the Dodgers, in 2012 (3.72 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 7.2 K/9) and 2014 (4.35 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 6.9 K/9). The 6-foot-6 right did not pitch professionally in 2015 after being cut by the Rangers in Spring Training.
July 3 marks the 20th anniversary of Wright’s MLB debut, which came for Colorado three years to the day after he signed with the Rockies, who drafted him in the first round (28th overall). Wright’s most recent MLB game came against the Rockies, on September 27, 2014.
He has pitched for 10 big-league teams: Colorado, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Texas, Seattle, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland and the Dodgers.
Believe it or not, only four Dodgers have pitched in more games over the past four years than Wright’s 127: Kenley Jansen (262), J.P. Howell (200), Brandon League (149) and Ronald Belisario (145). Clayton Kershaw (126) can presumably tie Wright on Opening Day.
Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. passed along Wright’s conversation with reporters this morning:
… He has played catch in the offseason with fellow Dallas area resident Clayton Kershaw, so when the Dodgers ace came calling this winter Wright couldn’t refuse.
“It wasn’t just playing catch. It was Kershaw saying I didn’t have anyone to throw with,” Wright said. “I said I’d love to. I told him if I don’t do it after doing it every year since I was 19 years old at that time of year I probably would have went into depression.” …
… He said the first session with Kershaw went great, then he felt better each time out, and eventually threw for scouts. He said there were a few other teams interested besides the Dodgers.
“I still have the desire to win the World Series,” Wright said. “This is where I want to be.” …
As old is Wright is for a ballplayer, he will wear a number at Camelback Ranch more twice his age: 96.
Dodgers pitcher Jamey Wright said he has had this Oklahoma t-shirt for 13 or 14 years. "It has sentimental value." pic.twitter.com/OFl59S6VYP
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) February 24, 2016