Giants haven’t closed door on Brian Wilson

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Closer Brian Wilson, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, could return according to manager Bruce Bochy. ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweeted:

Bochy told us the Giants have not closed the door on Brian Wilson #SXM

Wilson managed only two innings last season before his season ended, requiring Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Though the Giants went on to win the World Series without him, Wilson was instrumental in the Giants’ championship 2010 season, posting a 1.81 ERA with a league-best 48 saves. He did not allow a single run in 11.2 innings during post-season play.

In Wilson’s absence last year, the Giants got 25 saves out of Santiago Casilla and 14 out of Sergio Romo. Casilla was relied upon in the ninth through July, but the Giants relied more and more on Romo as the season rolled into August. He was the go-to guy in the post-season and will be the closer for the 2013 season. If the Giants were to bring Wilson back, he would likely satisfy a middle relief role.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.