Brian Wilson And The Detroit Tigers: A Better Fit Than You Think
By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) Follow @MatthewLafave
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Not the Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
The other Brian Wilson, the crazy one with the creepy beard.
Some Detroit fans will remember him from one of his tantrums at Comerica Park. He went ballistic on a water cooler after blowing a save back in July of 2011.
Sad to report, the water cooler never recovered.
Brian Wilson loses it on watercooler
Sure he is known for his emotional style of play and flamboyant personality, but the 31-year-old is looking for a new home.
Could Detroit realistically be his next home?
Fans should not only think so but hope so.
A proven closer with 171 career saves is just what Detroit needs.
Yes, Joaquin Benoit was an amazing breath of fresh air after the Jose Valverde plague in 2013, but Benoit is coming with a hefty price tag. Plus, one season of saving games doesn’t make anyone a proven closer.
The Tigers can’t put all their chips into someone like Benoit to close out games. A team that is built on starting pitching needs a sure-fire closer.
What about Joe Nathan?
No arguments here, Nathan is a proven closer and could really be a veteran presence in the young Tigers bullpen.
But that will come with an even heftier price tag. He would likely require somewhere around $13 million a season and said to be looking for a two year deal.
There will be a bidding war with the Yankees and possibly Mariners. Bidding wars with the Yankees could always be draining.
So that leaves ‘The Beard’.
Brian Wilson will likely require somewhere north of $8 million a year. General Managers will be hesitant to throw guaranteed money at him after only pitching 19 innings last season.
He could very likely only see a one year deal so that he can prove himself and set himself up for a monster contract after the 2014 season.
If you’re a Tigers fan, one year would be plenty as it gives Bruce Rondon one more year to prepare.
Besides, you could also be saving money to use elsewhere around the field.
Some will love Brian Wilson and some will hate. Fans should get over their personal distaste for him though. He is as proven a closer as anyone else out there.
One stat that everyone should be excited about is home runs given up in his 8 seasons.
17 homeruns in 333 games, that’s good for a 0.5 HR/9 ratio. All 17 came against National League teams. That leaves zero to American League teams.
It may only be 23 appearances against the A.L., but still impressive.
To put that into perspective a little more, Joaquin Benoit gave up 24 home runs in only 3 seasons as a Detroit Tiger. That’s a 1.1 HR/9 ratio.
Wilson’s postseason numbers are even more impressive, something Dave Dombrowski will be looking into this off-season.
In 16 postseason games, he has given up zero earned runs, struck out 24, and has 6 saves.
It’s no secret that the Tigers need some players with successful postseasons on their resumes – even if their resume includes a grisly beard and a couple broken water coolers.
If the beard fits, wear it.
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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Tigers Correspondent’ Matthew LaFave for preparing today’s featured article. Matthew was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan.
Growing up watching all of the Detroit sports with his father he began to enjoy writing about them in high school.
At first started out as e-mails between his father turned into a Detroit Lions blog website titled ‘Hear Me Roar’. Matthew would go on to get a job as ‘Detroit Tigers Writer’ at the website http://www.examiner.com.
He has been writing for them for over two seasons and regularly attends games as a credentialed media member. Be sure to follow him on Twitter Follow @MatthewLafave
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Posted on November 27, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged at n t park, brian wilson, bruce rondon, detroit tigers, Joaquin Benoit, joe nathan, jose valverde, los angeles dodgers, new york yankees, san francisco giants. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.