Are the Red Sox interested in San Francisco closer Brian Wilson?
Here's a name you might not have expected the Red Sox to be linked to anytime soon: Brian Wilson.
Sure enough, though, with Wilson expected to be non-tendered by the Giants (who will hope to resign him at a lower price) here come the rumors. Ken Rosenthal got it started this afternoon with this:
Some say #RedSox for NH native Brian Wilson. Don't rule out #Dodgers. Lives in Malibu in winter. Another late-inning option with League.
Scott Lauber, in adding the Phillies' name to the list shortly after, seemingly confirmed Boston's name on the list of possible candidates.
Of course, this needs to be taken with all the grains of salt in the world. Neither Heyman nor Lauber really give any indication of what, exactly, it is that they're hearing. Are the Red Sox interested? Have they had internal meetings about it? Do folks around the league think they're likely to move on him? Or is this just a case of people saying "Well, where does he come from?"
Usually if someone had the weight of legitimate inside sources behind their rumor, they'd lead with that. We'd be hearing "Red Sox prepared to move on Brian Wilson" or something in that vein. That suggests to me all we're hearing is rumblings from the league at large, and those are often rather uninformed.
That's probably a good thing, too. We've gone over the fact that the Red Sox aren't exactly in dire need of relievers right now, to the point where adding a big question mark like Wilson, fresh off his second Tommy John Surgery, might actually be a net negative given the sort of arm they'd have to get rid of for him.
The one exception to that might be in the event of an Andrew Bailey trade, which it seems is a possibility with a bit more weight behind it.
If the Sox did bring Wilson in, it's hardly likely it would be for more than one year. Wilson will be looking to prove himself in a tough division and then hit the market as a free agent, and the Sox certainly won't try and talk him out of a short-term commitment. But still, for a team that has so many needs, bringing on a question mark of a replacement at closer just can't be very high on the list.