Former San Francisco Giants All Star closer, Brian Wilson, worked out privately for the Mets and General Manager, Sandy Alderson, at the UCLA campus yesterday. After appearing in only two games in 2012, Wilson underwent Tommy John surgery in April and has vowed to be ready in time for the regular season opener. He led the league with 48 saves in 2010 (also a Giants record for saves in a season), the same year the Giants went on to win the World Series.
If signed, Wilson would not automatically be installed as closer as the Mets still have Frank Francisco under contract for the 2013 season. Francisco is also coming off a surgery as he had surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his right elbow but the Mets have been optimistic that he will be ready for Spring Training. He would likely serve as just another “bullpen arm” until he gets going at which point, he could end up at the setup man or even closer if he out pitches Francisco. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see him installed as the teams closer if he proves healthy enough, pushing Francisco into the setup role. Also, with the Mets not expected to contend, he could be a very attractive trade chip for Alderson should he pitch well enough that another team may try to acquire him at the deadline to improve their team’s playoff chances.
Wilson, nicknamed “The Beard” is reportedly drawing interested from several clubs although the Mets are the first one to have proven interested in him, shown by their willingness to fly cross country to California for a private workout. Wilson was non tendered by the Giants in November after earning $8.5 mil while injured practically the entire season. He’s almost certain to receive only a one year deal in hopes of re-establishing himself to go back out on the market next offseason in search for a multi year deal.