Brian Wilson and his overgrown black beard might be headed out of the Bay Area.
The San Francisco Giants declined to tender a one-year contract to the closer and former Augusta GreenJacket by Friday night’s deadline, making him a free agent as he recovers from a second ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow.
Wilson was the 2010 major league saves leader with 48, but made only two appearances for the World Series champions this year after experiencing elbow trouble in April. He underwent reconstructive Tommy John surgery April 19, his second such procedure on his pitching elbow after also having it done while in college at LSU in 2003. Dr. James Andrews performed both operations. Wilson missed the team’s run to its second championship in three years.
The 30-year-old Wilson, who earned $8.5 million during his injury-shortened 2012 season, would be due to make at least $6.8 million next year under the rule limiting pay cuts to a maximum of 20 percent. By letting him go free, the Giants can sign him for a lower price, though the pitcher has apparently already hinted he will look for work elsewhere.
RAYS: Traded right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr.
Badenhop turns 30 on Feb. 8. He was 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 66 games last season. He has been a full-time reliever for the last three seasons and is 16-17 with two saves and a 4.08 ERA in his career with the Marlins and Rays.
The 20-year-old Mondesi, son of a former All-Star outfielder, hit .231 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 68 games at rookie league Helena.