It is January 12, 2013 and Brian Wilson does not have a contract to any MLB team.
Two years ago, that statement would sound like ridiculous mumbo jumbo. Nowadays, the Giants and the rest of the league are hesitant to give the All-Star closer a look.
After rehabbing from his second career Tommy John surgery last year, Wilson has spent this offseason in a handful amount of rumors ever since the Giants decided not to offer arbitration and was granted free agency on November 30, 2012.
I’ll be honest, Wilson has been one of my favorite Giants to watch over the past few years. The tattoos, massive beard and (literally) crazy personality have put the Giants in the spotlight for the first time since “Bonds Watch” ended.
Not only is Wilson funny and just a great clubhouse guy, he was actually pretty damn good before his elbow exploded. Take a look at his numbers from 2009 through 2011:
A combined 2.50 ERA, 122 saves (a useless stat, i know…), 202 innings pitched and only eight home runs allowed. Oh, and he has held a 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.
Wilson threw in two innings in 2012 before he went on the disabled list. In those games, he was not the Brian Wilson we saw before. Two innings, four hits, two walks, two runs allowed, a wild pitch and a really bad elbow were the only highlights from him last season.
So yeah, a lot of teams are reluctant to offer him a contract. The Dodgers are even staying away from the injured superstar.
I’ve applauded the Giants thus far for not overpaying Wilson in arbitration (the offer would have to be at least 80% of his 2012 salary of $8.5 million) because he is not worth it.
He is not worth another headache for San Francisco.
Now that Wilson has realized nobody actually wants him like they would have after 2010, his price has dropped significantly. The only question now is, what should the Giants pay for him if they decide to bring him back for another go?
The average salary for a quality closer these days range from $5 million to $12 million. In Wilson’s case, you don’t know if you’re getting this Brian Wilson:
Or this one:
Trust me, there is a difference.
I’d be willing to give him $2-4 million for a one-year contract, heavy with performance incentives. The Giants don’t want to overpay for a broken bullpen guy and Wilson wants a good contract. This way, he earns it by proving he is back to his old form and the Giants get the guy they fell in love with during the magical 2010 run.
Either way, it would be hard to imagine Wilson in another team’s uniform and for the right price I’d like to keep it that way.
Comment below your own contract predictions for the “Beard” in 2013.