The Astros, Brewers, and Red Sox are considered the favorites to land Tigers closer Justin Wilson, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Thursday morning. The left-hander has long been linked to the Dodgers, though they appear to have dropped back in the bidding war for the moment.
The Indians have also checked in on Wilson, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, though it’s unclear if the Tigers would deal him to a divisional rival.
Wilson, 29, has taken over the closer role in Detroit this season after the collapse of Francisco Rodriguez. In 39.1 innings, Wilson has a 2.75 ERA and a 12.9 K/9. Under team control through 2018, Wilson is more of a longterm asset than a rental piece, and the team is reportedly looking for an Aroldis Chapman-like return in a potential deal, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Fenech added that the Yankees are another team to watch in the Wilson sweepstakes. New York may be looking to assemble a mega-bullpen for their playoff push (though their crop of Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman is nothing short of dominant already). The Yankees, in need of starting depth and infield help, have also floated their name around Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso.
While the Red Sox and Brewers are still very much in play for Wilson, the Astros are the "most focused team" on Wilson, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The Astros have a more-than-comfortable lead in the AL West, but recent struggles from Chris Devenski and Ken Giles have the club seriously considering late-inning upgrades.
The Tigers began their rebuild last week by dealing J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks for a package of three prospects headlined by infielder Dawel Lugo. For a full list of all the deals already completed at this year's deadline, click here.