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GM Sabean: Wilson unlikely to be back with Giants

The SportsXchange

San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Saturday that closer Brian Wilson will unlikely return to the team this year.

The New York Mets are reportedly heavily pursuing Wilson.

"I'm going to be brutally honest as I always am, I don't (think Wilson will return)," Sabean said in the New York Post while attending an event in New York. "In this case, where you are getting a second Tommy John (surgery) ... it's the type of rehab where he's still not further up along to judge exactly where he may be able to come back in major league fashion, let alone as a closer."

Wilson, 30, appeared in just two games last season before having the surgery. He made $8.2 million last season. The Giants non-tendered him in November, making him a free agent. They would have had to guarantee Wilson at least $6.8 million this year if they had offered him a tender.

Sabean does have hope that Wilson could return on a one-year, incentive-driven contract.

"We spoke to (Wilson's) agent repeatedly before we made the initial decision not to tender him a contract, to speak about, which in this case is very normal, starting with a low base and then from there building with incentives," he said.

Wilson saved 171 games in seven seasons with the Giants. His best year was in 2010 when he had a major-league-best 48 saves as the Giants won the World Series.

"It's one of those things where it's very difficult trying to change somebody's mind, being (Wilson's), in that the organization owes him, and we do owe him a debt of gratitude, but this is a tough business and we certainly have to be financially responsible," Sabean said.

Like the Mets, other teams have expressed interest in signing Wilson to a minor-league deal.

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