After choosing not to tender Brian Wilson a contract for the 2013 season, it appears that the San Francisco Giants have officially parted ways with their big-bearded closer. Wilson, who will turn 31 a few weeks before the season starts, had Tommy John surgery earlier this year but is expected to be at full health in 2013.
This move may sting the San Francisco faithful, but that’s more the result of Wilson’s endearining personality and the fact that he was a highly visible part of two world champion teams, albeit only from the dugout during last season’s title run. As a player, Wilson should be very replaceable — he struggled often in 2011 and missed the majority of 2012, so the Giants have already had plenty of practice playing without him.
While Wilson did have two excellent seasons in 2009-10, he’s never ranked as a truly elite closer, a fact clearly underlined by his career WHIP of 1.34 and BB/9 rate of 4.0. He’s a dynamic personality for sure, and he has the ability to dominate, but the Giants are obviously confident enough with the personnel they already have in the bullpen, and given how dicey of a proposition it is to spend too heavily on relief pitching, they can’t be blamed for turning the page on Wilson.