Former major leaguer and noted beard-haver Brian Wilson is attempting a comeback as a knuckleballer, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports.
On a muddy mound at USC on Wednesday morning, wearing high-top spikes and a Hawaii-themed cap, Wilson threw a 30-minute bullpen session. Of those dozens of pitches, all but a handful were knuckleballs.
“That right there,” Wilson said while pulling off his muck-caked shoes, “was an MVP-Cy Young knuckleball. You can write that down, too. No joke.”
“I can already see myself out there,” he said, “throwing up some waffles.”
Wilson, a three-time All-Star, last pitched in 2014 with the Dodgers. He pitched out of the Giants’ bullpen from 2006-12 before that, helping them win a World Series in 2010. As he went into hiatus, he carried a 3.30 ERA with 172 saves and 407 strikeouts across 382 innings in his nine-year career.
“I may be 34, but I’m actually 26 biologically,” Wilson said.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. He describes the club’s interest in Yelich as “strong,” and notes that other teams remain in the mix.
Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins was recently described by his agent as “irretrievably broken” following the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. His agent said Yelich “needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.” Understandably, teams have been calling the Marlins asking about him.
The 26-year-old hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances last season. He’s in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49.57 million contract of which $44.5 million remains. Given how slow the free agent market has been this offseason, it’s difficult to say exactly what he would get if he were to hit the open market, but it is safe to say that his current contract is very much a bargain for his team, which only makes him even more attractive to inquiring teams.
The Brewers are an interesting team to get involved in the Yelich sweepstakes. Their outfield already has three capable players in Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton. Yelich would still be an upgrade, but the Brewers’ resources may be better spent in other areas like the starting rotation.
Given Yelich’s displeasure and Jeter’s insistence on stripping the Marlins bare — including, potentially, the iconic home run sculpture — it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a trade happen.