The deadline was 9:00PM PST, and by that time the Giants had made a decision after efforts to come to an agreement with the one with the beard, but the parties were unable to come to an agreement, and Brian Wilson is now a Free Agent. In a culture that regrettably loves the save stat, Brian Wilson gathered himself 171 of those during his Giants tenure, and had a pair of fantastic 2009 and 2010 campaigns (double digit K/9, 2.50 and lower FIP), while having a decent 2011 season where he admittedly was a little fatigued from the historic 2010 run.
There was news that since Wilson lives in Los Angeles that he would consider the Dodgers first on his off-season list of teams to talk to. You could argue it may have been a “leverage leak” as Hank Schulman suggested, but then again we’ll see how it all plays out. Maybe he does stay in the NL West. Or maybe another team snatches him up and gives him more guaranteed cash, which is what Wilson and his camp were looking for, as opposed to the largely incentive-based contract that was offered by the Giants.
Although Sabean says they’re not active in trades right now, the Winter Meetings in Nashville start next week and the Giants may find an arm they deem good enough to replace their former 9th inning guy. Hard to say there’s someone waiting in the wings at the farm to replace Wilson. Heath Hembree was supposed to be the heir to the throne, but he’s slowed a bit due to injury and is still working on his control (insert closing pitcher joke there). The GM will probably do his usual Spring Training-invite, seemingly minor-trade-type of move to shore up the bullpen… or he could stand pat with guys like Jean Machi, Yusmeiro Petit, or use players he’s added to the 40-man in Jake Dunning, or Chris Heston. Some even can’t wait to see the likes of Brett Bochy possibly take the bump for father Bruce.
Lots of off-season left to go, but this is probably the end of Brian Wilson’s run — and his out of control facial hair — with the team that groomed him to become the now free agent reliever.