There were murmurings yesterday that maybe Brian Wilson could still make a return to the San Francisco Giants. The murmurings came after Brian Sabean said that the team had not closed the door on Wilson and suggested that the parameters of the discussions with Wilson’s camp was guaranteed money, which Sabean said Wilson wants, and an incentive-laden deal preferred by the Giants.
Only one problem with that. Via Andrew Baggarly at CSNBayArea.com:
“(Wilson) has instructed us not to talk terms or money until he’s 100 percent,” [Wilson’s agent Dan] Lozano said. “We haven’t talked terms or money with the Giants or any other team. So I’m a little baffled by Brian Sabean’s comment that we’re out there looking for more money.”
Informed of Lozano’s reaction, Sabean said he stood by his comment.
But that standing-by-his-comment thing is a little cute: Sabean says that he “deduced” that Wilson wants more money because he has yet to accept an incentive-based offer from the Giants. Not that Wilson has actually demanded it.
Gotta side with Wilson’s agent here. I think whether a player is demanding something, which Sabean clearly made it out to be, as opposed to him simply not accepting a current offer, are different things. And one way of giving yourself cover for not signing a fan favorite is to say “well, he was too greedy, not our fault.”
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.