Brian Wilson was the most noteworthy name among those who were non-tendered last night. There’s still a chance he could return to the Giants at a discounted rate, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that his tenure in San Francisco is almost certainly over.
The Giants technically can negotiate a lower-priced, incentive-rich deal with Wilson now that he is a free agent, but multiple sources said the 30-year-old right-hander is upset about the Giants’ stance and has told people he will sign elsewhere.
Wilson made an $8.5 million salary this past season and the Giants weren’t willing to offer him the minimum guarantee of $6.8 million through arbitration coming off his second Tommy John surgery. While Wilson apparently took issue with that, it was an understandable decision from a business perspective, as the Giants’ bullpen is already pretty expensive and $6.8 million is a lot to guarantee to a reliever, especially one who is still rehabbing from surgery.
Wilson figures to land a deal similar in structure to Ryan Madson’s one-year contract with the Angels, which includes a $3.5 million base salary and $3.5 million in possible incentives based on days spent on the roster and games finished. The Dodgers and Red Sox have been mentioned as two possible landing spots.
In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.
In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.
Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.
If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.
Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.
Upton had another tweet for the occasion: