SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brian Wilson and the San Francisco Giants agreed to a $4,437,500, one-year deal on Saturday, avoiding an arbitration hearing.
The Giants confirmed to The Associated Press that the sides settled at the midpoint of what each proposed in arbitration.
Wilson has spent the past two of his four major league seasons as San Francisco's full-time closer, recording 79 saves during that span and going to the All-Star game in 2008. The hard-throwing right-hander has a career record of 11-13 with a 3.73 ERA and 86 saves.
"We're very proud of Brian, from the beginning when he was drafted to developing in our system," Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said in a phone interview. "He's done a great job and become such a meaningful part of our organization. He's been an important part of this ballclub."
Wilson has established himself as a reliable ninth-inning option for a club that had lacked such a late-game presence since the days of Robb Nen.
When the sides exchanged salary proposals, the 27-year-old Wilson asked for $4,875,000 and the Giants offered $4 million.
Meanwhile, the Giants could be headed to an arbitration hearing with two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. He is seeking a record $13 million and the Giants offered their ace $8 million.
Getting Wilson's deal done is another item general manager Brian Sabean can check off his long to-do list this winter. The Giants re-signed second baseman Freddy Sanchez, utility infielder Juan Uribe and catcher Bengie Molina. They also added left-handed hitter Aubrey Huff to play first base and bat cleanup, and Mark DeRosa as a utilityman and likely left fielder.
The Giants hope they've upgraded their offense enough to be a playoff contender in the NL West. San Francisco was in the wild-card chase well into September last season but ultimately missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year.
"Our goal is to win the division. It's not going to be easy to win 88 games. We have to catch two clubs," Sabean said recently. "I think it's improved but it still has to translate on the field, and the players are responsible for that. And we have more depth. We're getting closer to feeling we're all that much stronger than last year."