Friday, November 30, 2012

Adios, Brian?

Chris Quick at Bay City Ball thinks that the Giants are right not to offer Brian Wilson a $7 million deal following his second Tommy John surgery 

Sorry that I can't seem to post anything these days except questions! Here's some good analysis -- 

In Wilson’s case, his 2011 was full of warning signs that he was probably hurting: these graphs do a pretty good job of telling that story. Lower strikeouts. Rising walk-rate. Decline in velocity. Those are the classic red flags of arm injuries. In hindsight, the Giants clearly knew something was up. The team often hid Wilson this past Spring Training, making him throw on back fields and keeping his appearances away from reporters.

The $7M question is which Brian Wilson will the Giants get in 2013? The version that was struggling to crack 90 mph in 2012 or some amalgamation of his past self. Wilson’s rise to success isn’t lost on me. He was the first legitimate closer the Giants had since Robb Nen and he closed the books on names like Herges, Walker, and Benitez. His dominant run from 2009-2010 is one of the best among franchise history. He’s been a really, really successful pitcher. But, as we know, pitchers are fragile things, held together by tape and string and bits of Velcro.
The Giants are right to not pursue Wilson at $7M in 2012. And, likewise, his agent is right to test the market if the Giants non-tender Wilson. To me, this seems like one of those rare occurrences where both sides have just reason to do what they need to do. Wilson has been a huge icon to the team and fans since he arrived, and the Giants will lose money on beard sales, but Wilson is clearly a huge risk. I love the guy; I’ve loved to watch him pitch, but he’s just too risky. If Wilson can’t agree on a lower base salary with performance incentives, it’s probably time for the Giants to move on.


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