Tigers looked at Brian Wilson, but wasn't a fit
DETROIT — It was no secret that the Detroit Tigers have been seeking bullpen arms, and actively so.
Because that was common knowledge, they were linked to any and every arm deemed ‘available,’ whether or not there was any interest on anyone’s part.
One name that seemed inextricably linked to the Tigers was that of Brian Wilson, the bearded former closer for the San Francisco Giants, who has been a free agent until Tuesday, when he signed with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Tigers did investigate the possibility, but it wasn’t a fit.
“We looked at him. We had a scout over there the last time he threw. We’ve kept the pulse of that situation the whole time period. Tim McWilliams, one of our scouts out in California, watched him throw a couple times,” said Tigers GM and president Dave Dombrowski, who was announcing the signing of another bullpen arm, Jose Veras, Tuesday afternoon.
“He threw the ball pretty well, but I think in Wilson’s case, if we were going to talk about him, we were going to have to talk about him being our closer at the time from any of the discussions, and we weren’t in that position to do so.”
The Tigers feel they’re set in the eighth (Drew Smyly) and ninth (Joaquin Benoit) innings, and added a guy in Veras who has more experience in a set-up role than in the closer’s role he’d been in for the Houston Astros.
A three-time All-Star, Wilson had been the closer in San Francisco since 2008.
Then, there’s the issue of him coming off a second Tommy John surgery last year. He hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since April 12, 2012.
“Again, would we have that interest? Yes. But not necessarily in that type of role at this time,” Dombrowski said. “And there’s still some ifs there, because he’s still coming back, on when he’ll be ready.”