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As good as Brian Wilson has been for the Giants, the team has options at closer.
I hope this isn't taken as a sign of disrespect for what Brian Wilson has accomplished in his Giants' career and the hard work and dedication that he puts into every day as the closer for this team. Brian Wilson is an elite closer and has been for a few years, but how long can that be expected to last?
Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are few and far between, and a closer's effectiveness generally lasts four, maybe five years. Teams with these elite closers can only hope that they can take advantage of that dominance and win a World Series during their reign. The Giants did that, and then Wilson broke down the following year.
Wilson's effectiveness had not diminished before his injury. He was once again an All Star, and he actually had become more economical at times in his outings.
The fact that he ended the season with only two appearances over the final six weeks of the year, outings that raised more concern than alleviated fears, puts not only his status as the closer for 2012 in question, it also means that the Giants will have to have a backup plan in spring training.
If Wilson has not, or cannot, recover in time to pitch at the start of the season, the Giants will have a question mark at the end of the game for the first spring since the Armando Benitez era.
The Giants are not without options to close games. Santiago Casilla filled in admirably for Wilson at the end of 2011, and Sergio Romo had one of the best years that a reliever has ever had. I've long thought that Romo was the eventual successor to Wilson, and now it appears that an injury may force him into that position.
If the Giants had traded Wilson at the height of his worth, and put their faith in Sergio Romo, they could have received some promising, young hitting in exchange for him while not suffering too significantly at the back end of the bullpen.
Here's to hoping that Wilson fully recovers physically and returns to his dominant ways. If he does that, the Giants should trade him as soon as the market is favorable.