The odds of San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson being ready for the start of the regular season aren’t looking good.
From Chris Haft of MLB.com:
“I’ll be honest — I think it’s less than 50-50,” (manager Bruce) Bochy said when asked about Wilson’s chances of being on the active roster when the Giants open their defense of their World Series championship Thursday at Los Angeles. “But we’re not going to rule him out completely.”
As Haft points out, missing the start of the season isn’t necessarily a huge deal. If they put Wilson on the DL, he could be eligible to play by April 5. They will take their time bringing him back, not wanting his oblique injury to linger during the season.
If Wilson is unable to go, Bochy can call on a deep bullpen that includes two pitchers with some closing experience from last season in Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla.
The manager says he has already made a decision on what he will do with the closer’s role if Wilson is sidelined, but said he wasn’t “prepared to announce which way we’re going to go.”
Wilson saved 48 regular season games in 2010, and six more in the postseason as the Giants won their first championship since 1954.
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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.