Brian Wilson will not return to the San Francisco Giants. Okay, there’s the slightest sliver of a chance the two sides can patch things up and reach an accord. However, in light of Brian Sabean’s recent comments this scenario would require a lot of patching.
From the NY Post:
“I’m going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don’t [think Wilson will return],” Sabean said during an event in Midtown on Saturday. “In this case, where you are getting a second Tommy John…it’s the type of rehab where he’s still not further up along to judge exactly where he may be able to come back in major league fashion, let alone as a closer.”
“We spoke to [Wilson’s] agent repeatedly before we made the initial decision not to tender him a contract, to speak about, which in this case is very normal, starting with a low base and then from there building with incentives,” Sabean said.
Translation: We are of the opinion that Brian Wilson and his agent are completely delusional and didn’t notice that we won a World Series without him.
“It’s one of those things where it’s very difficult trying to change somebody’s mind, being [Wilson’s], in that the organization owes him, and we do owe him a debt of gratitude, but this is a tough business and we certainly have to be financially responsible,” Sabean said.
Translation: The Giants aren’t interested in paying guys retroactively, but they’re happy to extend an open invite to any and all World Series reunions. We’ll even give him a voucher for 20% off his stay at The Handlery (as long as he mentions KNBR).
“We may be in a position to offer him a low base with some incentives, but at this time I see him more in the mindset to do that with somebody else, than coming back with us,” Sabean said.
Translation: Our prior offer is off the table. Let another team deal with this prima donna and his 40-pitch ninth innings.
If any other team could deal with him, that team would probably be the Oakland A’s. It sounds counterintuitive that the A’s would take a financial risk that the Giants wouldn’t, but over the last two years Billy Beane has shown a willingness to make some surprising moves in order to improve both the on-field product and their drawing power. Who thought the Athletics would give a 4-year, $36 million contract to Yoenis Cespedes? Or that they’d sign Hiroyuki Nakajima?
Also, signing Wilson would be a great way to stick it to their crossbay rivals.
It’s not like Wilson would have a tough time fitting in. With Johnny Gomes signing with the Boston Red Sox, the man known as “B-Weezy” could replace the Prince of Petaluma as the guy who wears the golden bathrobe. Wilson might wear nothing else than the bathrobe and a pair of Air Mags all year long, and the A’s wouldn’t care. Not if they could troll the Giants by doing a “Brian Wilson A’s Gnome Night” during the Oakland portion of the 2013 Bay Bridge Series.
Even with his scraggly homeless guy beard and painted fingernails, if Wilson signed with Oakland he might not even be the strangest reliever on his own team. Not with Grant Balfour RAGING all over the place.
Oakland’s bullpen is already spoken for, with each of their top five pitchers in terms of appearances last season returning in 2013. They don’t need Wilson, but that would also allow the A’s to wait until Wilson was fully healthy to use him.
Granted, there’s a significant difference between adding Cespedes, Nakajima or Chris Young and signing Wilson. The first three guys should be ready on Opening Day and, like Sabean noted, there is a chance Wilson will never be a Major League pitcher again, let alone a viable closer. So a lot of this cockamamie idea would rest on Wilson’s willingness to accept a similar “low base with some incentives” deal from Oakland. Why would he do that?
First, Sandy Alderson’s reaction to watching Wilson work out (Translation: “No effing way”) shows MLB teams aren’t interested. No shocker there — if Wilson was a hot commodity, Ned Colleti would’ve given him $10M+ guaranteed two months ago. Second, after reading Sabean’s comments, Wilson may want to stick it to the Giants and their GM. If Wilson and the A’s can agree on that, maybe they can agree on a contract.