Brian Wilson, former star closer for the San Francisco Giants, is still a free agent. Although injuries have been a problem, and Wilson will be coming off of his second Tommy John surgery, the former shutdown man would be a good gamble for any MLB team looking to add to their bullpen.
Wilson, 30, is still young enough to bounce back from the injuries. His career ERA of 3.21 is solid, and his tenure as a closer from 2008-2012 was excellent. During that span, Brian Wilson was a part of three All-Star teams, and two World Series championships with the Giants. His career save percentage of 87.2% (171 saves of 196 opportunities) is very good.
Comparing that number to New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, almost unanimously considered the greatest closer in MLB history, Wilson is only 2% behind Rivera’s 89.2% (608 saves of 681 opportunities). Of course, Rivera has a better career ERA by exactly one run (2.21) but the save percentage is really the most important stat for any closer.
Whether or not Wilson will end up with a rebuilding team like the Chicago Cubs, who have already spent most of their off-season stockpiling pitchers, or with a team more posed to immediately compete for a championship, it is very likely that Brian Wilson will find a team really soon. Whether or not he can get back to his old form is hard to say, but at his age and his ability it seems that, if the price is right, signing Wilson would be a good move to make for a team that needs more bullpen depth.