Eccentric San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson had Tommy John surgery in April 2011 which caused him to miss most of the season and was largely displaced in favor of Sergio Romo who helped lead the Giants to another World Series championship. It was assumed that Wilson would begin testing the waters this off-season, and while nothing has been solidified yet, workouts are starting to happen.
According to reports, Wilson worked out for the New York Mets — more specifically Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson — yesterday in California — presumably on the UCLA campus. Wilson has been vocal about the fact he’ll be ready to compete at a 100% level by opening day, but is not yet able to workout at a full level for any teams who may be interested, the Mets included.
Were the Mets to take Wilson on, it would likely be under the umbrella of a minor league contract, however, reports suggest Wilson would be unwilling to accept a deal of this nature, and it’s reasonable to assume he wouldn’t given his stature as one of the game’s best closers prior to the Tommy John procedure.
As is almost always true with the Tommy John surgery, Wilson’s recovery will be slow and steady, but he should return with plenty of pop and be valuable for whichever team is willing to make an investment in his short-term future.
The Mets have a closer in Frank Francisco already on the roster, and it’s possible they see Wilson in more of a setup or split closer role with Francisco, either of which would be an improvement from the team’s 2011 bullpen situation.
I think it’s safe to assume Brian Wilson won’t accept a minor league deal, so if the Mets fail to come up with something more substantial, the bearded one will continue his work back toward playing with another team with greater cap flexibility.