Updating Brian Wilson's Top Suitors, Best Fits After Impressive Workout
The former San Francisco Giants closer was once the most feared bearded reliever on the planet, but after multiple Tommy John surgeries, he's pitched a total of two innings in the majors since 2012.
However, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, Wilson looked good in a recent workout observed by several MLB teams.
It's been a long, hard road back for Wilson, who has been trying to return to 100 percent for months.
In January of this year, Wilson worked out privately for the New York Mets as he tried to make a comeback.
It didn't go so well.
After the session, it looked like the two sides were in completely different places, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN:
A major league source said the reliever is not yet able to demonstrate in workouts that he is back to pre-surgery form.
The source speculated that the Mets willingly would sign Wilson to a minor league deal now, but Wilson agreeing to such an offer seems a stretch. As a result, the negotiation process will continue.
Obviously, the negotiation process did not end the way Wilson had hoped, as the lowly Mets wouldn't even take a chance on the three-time All-Star reliever.
Wilson then continued to work out on his own, and it looks like it's paid off.
Wilson worked out privately for the Giants earlier this week, per Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. He reportedly was estimated to hit 94 mph and had his changeup working.
Giants vice president Bobby Evans was certainly impressed, saying, "We want to keep in touch with his progress. He’s a Giant through and through. So we want to stay involved."
Wilson has worked out in front of a handful of teams, including the Pirates, Diamondbacks, A's, Giants, Phillies, Rangers, Rockies and Cardinals, among others, per Knobler.
The bearded wonder appeared to have returned to form and was able to perform at a high level once again, and a scout said he's "not far away."
Wilson is garnering quite a bit of attention, and now it's time to take a look at where the man who ended the 2010 World Series with a save will end up.
Possible Suitor: Arizona Diamondbacks
The D-Backs have finally surrendered the lead in the NL West to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which only seemed to be a matter of time.
The team sits half a game back in the division, and that should come as no surprise considering that it has been playing without a closer for the last few weeks.
Arizona has used five pitchers to close games this season. Heath Bell, J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez and Matt Reynolds have all closed, but none have been good enough to keep the job.
The Diamondbacks desperately need a closer if they are going take the NL West back from the Dodgers, but there aren't many available on the trading block.
If the Diamondbacks fail to find a closer via trade, they will need to look somewhere else, and signing Wilson could be the answer to their problems.
Possible Suitor: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have been interested in Wilson as long as any other team and have been looking into the possibility of acquiring him for a while now.
The Phils have been after Wilson to help shore up a shaky bullpen, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
Jayson Stark of ESPN was told by a rival GM that the Phillies are definitely buyers, and adding a reliever to a bullpen that's lost Mike Adams, Jeremy Horst, Joe Savery and Michael Stutes will be part of Ruben Amaro Jr.'s plan.
While the Phillies aren't contenders right now, they are hoping to go on a run to bring them within a few games of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, and Wilson could help them do so.
Best Fit: Pittsburgh Pirates
The best fit for Wilson is an obvious one: Pittsburgh.
The Pirates recently lost closer Jason Grilli for four-to-eight weeks, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Grilli was having the best season of his life, but he leaves Pittsburgh without a closer.
The Pirates sit 2.5 games back in the NL Central behind the MLB-leading St. Louis Cardinals. The team had the best record in baseball not too long ago and will need a closer to get back to that level.
Pittsburgh is trying to end a 20-year playoff drought, and it will need a closer to get it over the hump. The best closer available is Wilson, and he would fit right in.
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