Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Former Giants closer Brian Wilson is drawing strong interest from the New York Mets as GM Sandy Alderson looks to fix their woeful bullpen.
The Mets are showing strong interest in former Giants closer Brian Wilson, according to Bob Nightingale of USA Today. New York general manager Sandy Alderson scouted the bearded right-hander in a private workout on Saturday.
The three time All-Star missed almost all of the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery and was replaced by Sergio Romo in San Francisco. The Giants non-tendered Wilson earlier this off-season, making him a free agent.
Prior to the elbow injury that ended Wilson’s 2012 season, the 30 year old closer was considered one of the better closers in the game. He led the National League in saves in 2010 with 48 and received MVP and Cy Young votes that season. His 1.81 ERA that season was more twice as good as the NL average.
In 2011, he slumped as injuries limited him to his just 55 innings, his lowest total since 2007. He still managed 36 saves, but his his command became a real issue as he walked more than 5 batter per nine innings. His 3.11 ERA was still above average but after his 2011 performance, it was a disappointment for the Giants.
The younger, less expensive Romo was fantastic down the stretch and dominated opponents in the playoffs during the Giants 2012 World Series Championship run, making the choice easy for GM Brian Sabean.
The Mets are hoping to repair a bullpen that had a 4.65 ERA last year, the second worst of any bullpen in baseball. Wilson would likely replace Frank Francisco in the closer role for New York. Francisco also missed a large portion of the 2012 season with injury and eventually needed elbow surgery during the off-season (but not Tommy John surgery). He pitched 42 innings with a 5.56 ERA last season, saving 24 games. Hard throwing righty Bobby Parnell could also be in the mix to close in New York after a strong 2012 season where he posted 2.49 ERA in 68 innings.
Regardless of his role, a healthy Wilson would give the Mets another option in the late innings, something they desperately need.