It has been sometime since former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson has been on an MLB mound, but it looks like he could be getting close to a return.
After sitting out the 2012 season recovering from his second Tommy John surgery he was not asked back by the Giants. Had they wanted to keep him the Giants would have had to offer him $6.9 million, but with the emergence of Sergio Romo there was no need to hold on to him. So the Giants let him go.
There would have been several teams that would have been happy to sign him to a minor league contract while he worked on his rehab, but Wilson opted to remain a free agent and work out on his own instead. In doing so he put himself in a much better negotiating spot. Injured he would have to take what he could get, but healthy and with contenders looking to gain an edge his services have more value.
The question now is who wants or needs him the most?
Atlanta could be a possible destination. They already have a solid closer in Craig Kimbrell, but the Braves are short on quality set-up men. Jordan Walden has played well as has Luis Avilan, but if they are going to make a deep run in the post season, the Braves bullpen could use some help.
St Louis might be interested in adding him as a set-up man as well. Edward Mujica has done well in the closer’s role, but the bullpen as whole has been weak.
If Wilson is determined to return in a closer’s role the likely candidates will be the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. Both are expected to make the post season barring a second half meltdown, and both are among the worst in saves (Boston has 21; Detroit has 20).
Wilson has been working out in Hawaii, but was seen throwing in San Francisco recently at the University of San Francisco. He is expected to hold a workout for interested scouts on August 1.