If Theo Epstein, Dale Sveum, and the Chicago Cubs as an organization are serious about competing in 2013, they should seriously consider signing former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson. For a significant amount of time not all that long ago, Brian Wilson was one of the dominant closers in the game, and could provide an outstanding setup man for MLB newcomer and presumed closer Kyuji Fujikawa.
Although Brian Wilson has had some struggles with injury, he wouldn’t come with a very high price tag, despite his previous success. The former star closer, whose career ERA is 3.21, is only 30 and was a three time All-Star in the last six seasons. He was also a part of two World Series championship teams with the San Francisco Giants and has 171 saves in 196 opportunities in his career, good for a top tier save percentage of 87.2%.
It’s impossible to really guess whether Brian Wilson will get back to his previous excellence, but even a Brian Wilson with a slight dropoff in overall quality would be a strong addition to the Chicago Cubs bullpen. Pitching is an obvious weakness for the team, and Brian Wilson would provide veteran leadership and would really make the Chicago Cubs overall bullpen quality something people will notice. With Carlos Marmol on the trading block, the Chicago Cubs will need someone to pitch the eighth inning before Kyuji Fujikawa closes the door.
If the best case scenario plays out and Wilson returns to his All-Star form, and Kyuji Fujikawa manages to transfer his success from Japan to the Chicago Cubs, the team would have a setup guy with an ERA around 3.00 and a closer with a sub-2.00 ERA. It gives us butterflies just thinking about it.