What is the market like for Wilson?
Brian Wilson went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 18 games for the Dodgers last year. (USATSI)
SAN FRANCISCO -- When you sign Brian Wilson, you get the whole package -- including the bird’s nest beard.
Even if it’s against club policy.
So you can cross the New York Yankees off Wilson’s list. At the GM meetings in Orlando, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters that he spoke with Wilson’s agent and was told that the right-hander has no intention of shaving his beard.
The Yankees have a longstanding grooming policy when it comes to facial hair. It even survived the mutton chops of the 1970s and the feathered, mullety-good awesomeness of the 1980s.
The Yankees aren’t changing for Wilson, and he isn’t changing for them.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports listed Wilson’s suitors as the Dodgers, Indians, Tigers, Rockies, Mariners, Red Sox and perhaps the Reds if they move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation. Brown also listed the Giants as an interested party -- listed them first, actually -- and the Chronicle’s Henry Schulman cited an unnamed source confirming the club would be open to bringing Wilson back.
I’m not at the GM meetings and they are. But I’d be very surprised if this weren’t just the Giants being polite. We all saw the way Wilson, hacked off about not getting his World Series ring in an on-field ceremony, confronted club president Larry Baer in front of 40,000 people. Giants GM Brian Sabean has had his share of back-and-forths with Wilson's agent Dan Lozano, too.
[REWIND: Wilson confronts Larry Baer]
Plus with the level of interest he’s generating, combined with the way he threw for the Dodgers upon returning late last season, he’s not going to come for just a couple million. The Giants have to prioritize their spending on filling out their rotation first.
Bringing back Wilson also would create the awkwardness of moving Sergio Romo back into a setup role despite having a solid first full season as the team’s closer.
Hey, lots of things that happen in life make no sense whatsoever. It would be hard to top Wilson coming back to the Giants, though. Even for a guy addicted to shock value, it would be unprecedented.