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.
Today could be a day of many trades, and Atlanta and the Angels of Anaheim have kicked off the day with some names you’ve heard of: Atlanta sending Tommy Hanson out for Jordan Walden. Here’s why Atlanta may be saying that they were ready to part ways while he had value:
This is his average velocity through the years on his fastball. Notice how in 2009 it’s in the 90’s , and in 2010 it’s also there, and 2011 OK it’s still there but the velocity range is down and then in 2012 you’re like dude, not even touching 95 anymore? What did you get older? No, but really, it’s not like Hanson has been consistently good: like his decline in fastball velocity, he’s seen a rise in BB/9 and FIP, which is not a good thing at all. Here’s what they got in Jordan Walden (who still doesn’t hit arbitration until 2014):
That’s in three seasons (’10-’12), the first one in 2010 not even being a full season in the bigs. His velocity looks like this:
It’s not the triple digit heat you might remember him for anymore, but mid-90’s is nothing to scoff at. The Braves add another power arm to their already powerful bullpen. If Hanson (going into his first of three arbitration years) regains his form, this will be a great trade for the Angels, but as it is on paper, I deem the Braves the winner of this early morning trade.