The San Francisco Giants might be ready to trim The Beard.
Right-handed closer Brian Wilson, known for his wildly long and dark beard, might not receive a contract offer from the team by the Friday deadline, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Players who aren't tendered a contract become free agents.
Wilson missed nearly the entire 2012 season due to a right elbow injury, and he underwent "Tommy John" surgery in April. He earned $8.5 million this year while serving as a cheerleader for the team's run to the World Series championship.
By rule, players can't have their salary cut by more than 20 percent, so the Giants would have to offer him at least $6.8 million for 2013. The Chronicle reported that the team isn't ready to commit that much money to a player coming off major surgery.
According to the newspaper, the Giants would like to re-sign Wilson to a deal that would carry a lower guaranteed salary but would include sizeable incentives Wilson could earn should he return to his previous form.
Wilson, 30, led the National League with 48 saves in 2010, and he helped the Giants win the World Series that year. In 10 postseason appearances, he allowed no earned runs in 10 innings while racking up six saves and a win.
He saved at least 36 games in four consecutive seasons before he was shut down after two appearances this year.
In Wilson's absence, the Giants employed a closer-by-committee approach for much of the season before settling on Sergio Romo as the closer. In the postseason, the San Francisco bullpen was outstanding, and Romo saved three of the four World Series wins against the Detroit Tigers.