Justin Wilson is by far the most desirable of the remaining Detroit Tigers on the trade block, and he’s almost without question the most desirable reliever still available. Numerous relief pitchers have been traded in recent days, including Pat Neshek, Dan Jennings, and Anthony Swarzak. Wilson is one of the few left in the top tier — a trade is all but guaranteed to happen before 4 p.m. on July 31.
Wilson is having arguably the best season of his six-year career, as this is his first season as closer and he has dazzled in the ninth inning role. He has 10 saves when the Tigers as a whole have won 45 games, and he finished 25 of the 41 games he has appeared in. Wilson has a 2.75 ERA, a WHIP of 0.941, and a K/BB ratio of 3.44 — the second-highest of his career. He is striking out nearly 13 batters per nine innings and walking just under four.
So it isn’t a stretch to imagine that many teams are pursuing Wilson. We’ll update this list as more rumors surface.
Jul. 27: Houston Astros
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported late Thursday morning that the Astros are actively pursuing Wilson and it looks as though they rank him above Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton in their search for a lefty reliever.
Jul. 25: Milwaukee Brewers
According to Jon Morosi discussions between the Tigers and Brewers are ongoing for both Wilson and Ian Kinsler, though a trade is “not imminent.”
Jul. 21: Milwaukee Brewers
On Friday morning, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reported that the Brewers are aggressively pursuing Wilson.
Jul. 20: Houston Astros
Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Astros maintain their interest in Wilson as well as Justin Verlander.
Jul. 20: Washington Nationals
Late Thursday morning, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Nationals are pursuing Wilson.
Jul. 20: Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox
Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reported Thursday morning that the Astros, Brewers, and Red Sox are continuing to show interest in Wilson.
Jul 20: Seattle Mariners
Early Thursday morning, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that the Mariners are closing in on an unnamed relief pitcher. It now appears likely this is referring to David Phelps.
Jul. 19: Los Angeles Dodgers
10-12 teams interested
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday afternoon that there are 10-12 teams looking to trade for Wilson. With one-third of all the MLB teams in pursuit of Wilson, it seems nearly certain that he will be wearing a different uniform Aug. 1.
Jul 18: Washington Nationals
On Tuesday, Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reported that despite the Nationals adding Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle in the last week, they are looking to trade for another reliever. Washington would be a good landing place for Wilson as Nationals Park has a park factor of .988 for runs — a park factor of under 1.000 favors pitchers.
Jul. 17: Tampa Bay Rays
Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reported on Monday that the Rays are in on Wilson. Detroit’s asking price appeared too high and the Rays were looking at numerous relievers besides Wilson.It doesn’t seem likely Wilson will be traded there.