Wilson's agents talking to many clubs, but not Giants

wilson_brian_giants_alone_dugout_staring.jpg

Wilson's agents talking to many clubs, but not Giants

NASHVILLE – The Giants are keeping the door open to re-sign Brian Wilson, but they expect the popular three-time All-Star closer to roam the market for awhile to assess his value.

Giants vice president Bobby Evans said he had two phone conversations with Wilson’s agent, Dan Lozano, following the GM meetings a month ago. But they haven’t spoken about Wilson at the winter meetings here at Opryland Resort.

Lozano told the San Francisco Chronicle that seven teams have shown interest in Wilson as either a closer or setup man; the agent didn’t specify whether the Giants were counted among those teams.

Evans stressed that the Giants want to remain engaged, and that has been communicated to Lozano and Co.

“He hasn’t been out there long. He needs time to see what his options are,” Evans said. “There’s clearly an understanding we have interest to keep the door open and bring him back.”

The market for Wilson remains difficult to gauge. On one hand, Joakim Soria, another closer who had his second Tommy John surgery in April, just received a two-year, $8 million deal with an option for 2015 from the Texas Rangers. On the other hand, some officials privately expressed concern with Wilson’s eccentric personality, and wonder if the act will become a distraction if plans go awry and he ends up pitching in a losing environment.

One rival GM suggested Wilson’s best course would be to re-sign with the Giants, where they know him and understand him and would be patient if he struggles to regain his form.

Health remains a major question for Wilson, who underwent his second Tommy John surgery on April 19. Although recovery from a first reconstructive elbow surgery is a full 12 months, and typically even longer following a second procedure, Wilson has vowed to be ready by opening day.

Evans acknowledged that goal is far from a guarantee, though.

“Being out there opening day is a great goal, and I wouldn’t put it past him, if his medical team supports that,” Evans said. “But it’s more important you be there for the last out in the second half of the season. … Brian understands that.

“Whether it’s us or anybody else who signs him, you have to prepare for him not to be out there if it’s not in his best interests. It may mean some alternative plans at the beginning of the year. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Just moments after the distillation of those comments were posted on Twitter, they apparently elicited a rapid response by way of Yahoo! Sports reporter Tim Brown:

“Source: Brian Wilson has been told by surgeon James Andrews that he will be cleared for spring training and ready by opening day,” Brown posted to his Twitter account.

Yes, it's clear the Giants and Wilson don't agree on much these days. Expect more back-and-forth between Wilson’s camp and the Giants, who non-tendered the right-hander on Friday rather than offer him a contract that would net him a salary of no less than $6.8 million through arbitration. Wilson was said to feel jilted by that decision, even though he pocketed $8.5 million for throwing just 56 pitches last season.

Harder to quantify is Wilson’s legacy in San Francisco and the residue of his contributions in 2010, when he contends he sacrificed his arm down the stretch before throwing the final pitch to clinch the franchise’s first World Series title since moving from New York in 1958.

With Wilson currently a free agent, the Giants’ current plan would be to use 2012 postseason hero Sergio Romo as the closer, augmented by Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla.

On a side note, prominent agent Scott Boras touched on the Giants bullpen during his annual briefing with reporters on Wednesday, saying it was an anomaly for a club to succeed without a stable, established presence in the closer role.

Boras is representing bullpen ace Rafael Soriano, of course.

Giants lineup: Bochy sticks with his guys vs Padres

belt-orange-us.jpg
USATSI

Giants lineup: Bochy sticks with his guys vs Padres

The Giants fell to the Padres on Thursday night, but Bruce decided to make no changes to his batting order for Friday.

San Diego Padres (41-54)

Lineup still to come

San Francisco Giants (37-60)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Hunter Pence (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P

Sandoval, ready for second chance, makes way back to San Francisco

Sandoval, ready for second chance, makes way back to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had to be careful with their public statements over the past 48 hours because they didn't want to get accused of tampering with a player who technically was still property of the Red Sox. That's no longer the case. 

Pablo Sandoval was expected to clear waivers on Friday and be in San Francisco to finalize a minor league deal. One Giants fan, on the way back from Boston, appeared to catch Sandoval boarding his flight. The Giants were preparing to reintroduce Sandoval on Saturday. He is expected to then make his way to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Sandoval, now 30 years old, spent the first seven years of his career in San Francisco, batting .294 with 106 homers. His time in Boston was a disaster and he was designated for assignment last week. The Red Sox released Sandoval on Wednesday, and it was soon reported by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that Sandoval would head back to the Giants. 

The Giants believe there is little downside in the move. Sandoval will not be blocking anyone in the minors, because Christian Arroyo is on the disabled list and Ryder Jones can play multiple positions. At the major league level, Eduardo Nuñez could be traded over the next 10 days.