Brian Wilson's goofy beard probably needs a trim. But the eccentric reliever appears to be growing on the Mets.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson was in Los Angeles Saturday and watched a private workout by Wilson, who is attempting to come back from his second Tommy John surgery. The former Giants closer, who is a free agent, burst onto the national scene as a star in San Francisco's run to the 2010 World Series title and got attention for his long, dark beard.
While he was interested enough to go see Wilson throw, Alderson was noncommittal Sunday on whether he'll extend an offer to the righty, who was non-tendered by the Giants after the season.
"I was there. I watched him throw," Alderson said. "There's not much more to say than that."
USA Today first reported that Wilson had worked out in front of Alderson.
Wilson, who will turn 31 in March, made only two appearances last season before having surgery on April 19. He vowed to be ready for the 2013 opener. The three-time All-Star led the National League with 48 saves in 2010 and has three other seasons of at least 36 saves and has a career strikeout rate of 9.6 per nine innings but a walk rate of four per nine.
It's unclear whether Wilson, if he's ultimately signed, would be the Mets' closer or a setup man for the incumbent Frank Francisco, who is set to make $6.5 million next season.
Francisco, who was given a vote of confidence as closer by Terry Collins at baseball's winter meetings in December, was hardly lights-out last year, going 1-3 with 23 saves and a career-worst 5.53 ERA.
In any case, the Mets certainly need to strengthen their bullpen, an area of weakness last season. The club's 4.65 relief ERA was the second-worst in baseball. Holdovers such as Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin figure to join Francisco in the pen and Jeurys Familia is a likely candidate, too. Jon Rauch, a free agent, could return as well.
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Brian Wilson on NY Mets' radar as GM Sandy Alderson watches former San Francisco Giants closer pitch in private workout session
New York Daily News | Jan 14