Dodgers trade rumors: Brian Wilson 'close' to signing somewhere, per report

Stephen Dunn

Wilson had Tommy John surgery in April 2012, but worked out for teams last week in hopes of returning to a major league bullpen.

Monday has been a busy day in baseball for relief pitcher deals, and with the Dodgers' recent history of acquiring bullpen pieces midseason it's only logical that the Dodgers could be looking for relief. One name that continues to surface, and will likely continue to be tied with the Dodgers until he signs here or elsewhere, is Brian Wilson.

It has been nearly 16 months since the former Giants closer has pitched in a major league game, but the free agent is said to be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, and worked out for teams last week.

Wilson is said to be "close" to signing with a team, per Scott Miller of CBS Sports, who mentions the Giants, Pirates, Dodgers and Diamondbacks as interested parties. Though both John Gambadora of KTAR 620 in Arizona and Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reported Arizona is out on Wilson.

Both Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports on Sunday and Bob Nightengale of USA Today on Monday reported that Wilson has offers from four National League teams and one American League team. Though with Arizona reportedly out, perhaps that is down to three NL teams.

Wilson pitched in front of several teams at UCLA last week, and was said to throw 90-93 mph, per Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Dodgers were present to watch Wilson and are said to have "kept tabs" on the right-hander, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Three relief pitchers were traded on Monday. The Tigers traded for Jose Veras, the Braves acquired Scott Downs, and the Rays traded for Jesse Crain.

"Wilson wants to land with a contender and is described as having an affinity for Los Angeles," Miller wrote. "Being that the Angels now are in sell mode, having dealt Scott Downs to the Braves on Monday, that leaves the Dodgers."

Wilson, 31, has become something of a novelty and a sideshow with his ridiculous dyed beard and annoying Taco Bell commercials, but he was an effective reliever when healthy for the Giants. He saved 163 games from 2008-2011 with San Francisco with a 3.00 ERA and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings during that span.

Though in 2011, despite his 3.11 ERA Wilson walked 31 in 55 innings, a rate of 5.1 walks per nine innings 65% higher than in 2010. The Dodgers already have a walk-prone reclamation project in their bullpen in Carlos Marmol, so it's unclear whether they would add another.

But while Wilson may be less certain than, say, a Glen Perkins to name one, he also wouldn't cost a single prospect, only money. Wilson also wanted to sign with the Dodgers in December after he was non-tendered by the Giants, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, though the team showed no interest.

Will the Dodgers sign Wilson? They might, or they might not, but until he lands somewhere expect the Dodgers to be mentioned as a potential destination.

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