First the Tigers were interested in Joe Nathan. Exceptional closer...that will cost far too much for where they shouldn't be focusing financial resources. I understand the Tigers want absolutely certainly at the back of their bullpen, but at the cost of what else? Possibly enough to cost them Infante and be forced into an unwise trade of Porcello as an asset. How often do I need to repeat the final four closers of the postseason, none of whom began the year in their role: Benoit, Rosenthal, Uehara, Jansen.
I like Nathan. Not his price tag.
Now they're also interested in Brian Wilson. As they should be!
You can tell I want the Tigers, or any team for that matter, looking to buy low on closers. You should've seen how irate I was when the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to the richest closer contract in history.
Vaulting Bruce Rondon into the closer role before the end of 2012 was buying low, but it was also driving drunk, while blindfolded down the busiest street you could find with equally drunk and blindfolded pedestrians. THAT decision by Dave Dombrowski may have cost Mike Ilitch his elusive World Series.
Bargain hunting through injured relievers last year, I'll admit it would've been a mistake to sign Ryan Madson. He didn't pitch all year. Joakim Soria may have worked out just fine though, and certainly better than giving laughably going down Valverde Street once more. Bringing him back wasn't a two grand slam death blow to the bullpen in the postseason. That happened much earlier.
What about Brian Wilson in November of 2012?
Wilson didn't pitch until August this year when he signed on with the Dodgers, but even if the Tigers had to hold on until they could rush him back, it too would've been more optimal than Valverde, and with Wilson, they MAY have won the World Series. Maybe.
Wilson's 2013. 18 games, 13.2 innings, 13 K's, 4 walks, 8 hits, WHIP of .87, and an ERA of .66.
Wilson will probably be less expensive than Nathan. Though not by much. And both pitchers will probably have fine 2014s, but if the Tigers sign Wilson, I'll wonder how '13 would have turned out if he'd been hired a year ago.