Former Giants’ closer Brian Wilson had a tryout with the Mets in January, but things have been pretty quiet since. There’s a reason for that.
According to CBS Sports’ Scott Miller, Wilson prefers not to audition for clubs until he is 100 percent recovered from Tommy John surgery. While he is currently throwing bullpen sessions, he’s estimated to be around “80 to 85 percent.” As a result, it’s unlikely he’ll sign with a team until several weeks into the season.
Wilson made just two appearances last season prior to hurting his elbow and is a little under 11 months removed from the procedure. Considering that it was the second Tommy John surgery of his career, there’s no reason to push it. The Giants haven’t ruled out bringing Wilson back, but there might be a more realistic chance for him to save games with a team like the Tigers, who are reportedly monitoring the market for closers.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.