The Detroit Tigers seem to be no longer interested in right handed reliever Brian Wilson a season after his Tommy John surgery. The three-time All-Star is not likely to return to the San Francisco Giants either. He’s been in talks with multiple teams and has generated some interest but teams are hesitant to sign a 30-year-old coming off an injury.
Wilson is most well-known for his famous beard and antics on and off the field but he can play too. In 2010 he had his best season with 48 saves in 53 attempts all while becoming the face of the Giants. Wilson is a character to say the least and always will give people a show. He was unlucky because after his injury the Giants were forced to replace him with a new closer and that man was Sergio Romo who never looked back. He led the Giants to a World Series sweep over the Tigers and became the new face in the bullpen. That makes Wilson the odd man out and the one leaving town.
The Tigers seemed to be interested considering they chose to not re-sign closer Jose Valverde after a horrendous collapse down the stretch in 2012. However they seem to be set on giving the ball to Bruce Rondon in the ninth inning. He has no major league experience but performed well all last year in Single-A through Triple-A. Regarding the possibility of signing Wilson GM of the Tigers Dave Dombrowski said, “He wants to be a closer — he wants to be in that position right now, he’s pretty much advertised with anybody that he wants to be given that opportunity.” And the Tigers seem to be making it pretty clear they are not willing to give him that chance.
I would love to see Wilson in Detroit next year given the current depth of the bullpen but I can understand why he would want to have a shot at the closing position. Honestly I don’t know why they won’t at least give him a shot. Rondon has no major league experience and is so young that it might do him some good to learn from a veteran reliever like Wilson. Though everyone in the clubhouse might be sold on Rondon’s closing ability, I’m not. What if the Rondon experiment doesn’t work out like they want? Will Jim Leyland try bullpen by committee? I don’t see that ending well either. When it comes down to it Detroit’s bullpen is shallow at best, even if Wilson doesn’t take the closing role he would be a great addition to the back end of the bullpen.