As of this week, no one in Major League Baseball is “fearing the beard.” Former two-time World Series champion, Brian Wilson has yet to sign with a team after being non-tender by the San Francisco Giants following last season.
In addition to his two World Series rings, Wilson was the 2010 NL Saves Champion and a three-time NL All-Star. Over his career, the 31-year-old has complied 171 saves with a 3.21 ERA and 340 strikeouts. The right-handed pitcher spent seven seasons with the Giants, four as the team’s closer.
In 2012, Wilson only pitched in two games, giving up two earned runs on four hits, before being shut down to undergo his second Tommy John Surgery. His first surgery came back in 2003 while attending Louisiana State University. April 12 would end up being his last game in a Giants uniform, however he finished third on the Giants all-time saves list with 171.
Wilson is best known for his amazing beard and crazy personality. He is never afraid to say what he wants to the media and to his teammates. Sometimes that can get someone in trouble, however he would a guy that most people would want on their team.
The pitcher will be able to contribute to any team in the major leagues, once he returns from his rehabilitation. His agent has stated that he most likely will not sign with a club until after the season starts and once he is closer to 100 percent back from his injury.
The Boston Red Sox should be calling Wilson’s agent. The relief pitcher was born in Winchester, Mass., however moved to New Londonderry, NH while in the second grade. The New England native grew up a Red Sox fan and would be happy to suit it up for a team so close to his hometown.
Although the Red Sox traded for Joel Hanrahan this offseason and he is slated to be the team’s closer, Wilson could join the team as a setup man and work the seventh or eighth inning. If Hanrahan doesn’t pan out as a top tier closer, the Red Sox could shift Wilson into the ninth inning, where he has proved to be dominant in the past. As a setup man, Wilson could be one of the best in the game.
One of the main reasons Wilson had arm issues to start last season is most likely because of his ‘over-use’ in 2010 and 2011. If the free agent wants to pitch for the Red Sox in 2013 and is healthy, why wouldn’t they bring him in?
Wilson is a power pitcher with four pitches, including a four-seam fastball that can hit 98 mph. His laid back and fun personality could make him a fan favorite in Boston and his World Series experience can give the teams young pitchers a great person to be around.
Once Wilson is ready to sign, Ben Cherington and the Red Sox front office should be calling MVP Sports Group and offering him a contract to play at Fenway Park. Bring the beard to Boston.