Jamey Wright has a gray Oklahoma Sooners T-shirt that he’s worn since before most players in the Dodgers’ clubhouse reached the major leagues. The shirt dangled limply from a hanger in Wright’s locker the last time he pitched for the Dodgers, in 2014, hanging on by only a few loose threads.
Impossibly, Wright still has the Oklahoma T-shirt. It was hanging on by even fewer threads Wednesday as Wright returned to the Dodgers on a minor-league contract. The 41-year-old pitcher did not pitch all of last year, but was inspired after throwing with Clayton Kershaw in the Dallas area over the winter.
“The first time I threw, I felt amazing and that’s not normally the case,” Wright said.
After throwing for major league scouts a couple weeks ago, Wright said he talked to “a few teams” about a return. He never officially retired.
“We’ve been in contact with Andrew (Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations) and here I am,” he said. “This is where I wanted to be.”
Wright said he spent last year being a father to his children, driving carpools and attending volleyball games.
He spent last season in the Texas Rangers camp as a non-roster invitee, but was cut on the final day of camp. He never re-signed for the remainder of the season; Wednesday he said he never played catch from the time camp broke until the time Kershaw called him.
Wright’s last contract with the Dodgers was a one-year deal in 2014. He made eight teams’ major league rosters every year from 2005-13 as a non-roster invitee. In 19 major league seasons, Wright is 97-130 with a 4.81 ERA.