The Mets are reportedly looking into signing former Giants closer Brian Wilson. Unlike many reports of Mets interest in players, I think this has a chance of actually happening.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted on Sunday that the Mets “are showing strong interest” in Wilson and that Sandy Alderson watched him in a private workout on Saurday.
Wilson was one of the league’s dominant closers between 2008 and 2011, averaging 40 saves per year, but missed almost all of last season with an elbow injury. The Giants decided not to tender him a contract; after making $8.5 million last season, he probably would have gotten about the same in arbitration, and with Sergio Romo filling in and helping them win their second World Series in three years, the Giants really didn’t need Wilson.
It is unclear what Wilson might command as a free agent coming off of a lost season, but I can see him getting around $5 million based on his past achievements. It might be worth the risk.
The Mets currently have Frank Francisco, himself coming off minor elbow surgery, as their closer. He inspires no confidence at all. I would much rather see Francisco as the eighth inning guy. At $6.5 million, that’s an expensive set-up man, but the Mets aren’t spending money on the rest of the team; they might as well put it in the bullpen.
But the main reason I think this could happen is because I could see Brian Wilson wanting to play in New York. Wilson and his beard received plenty of publicity in San Francisco, but that’s because his team won the World Series. He would get as much publicity, if not more, automatically in New York.
Brian Wilson has a wild, outgoing personality which would fit in well in New York. The Mets are a bit bland in the personality department, and he would add some excitement to what is shaping up to be a mediocre team on the field.