Rays have interest in Tigers LHP Justin Wilson, among other relievers
In their search to improve their bullpen, the Rays have expressed legitimate interest in Tigers lefty Justin Wilson and the talks have some traction, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.
There are a number of other teams reported to be interested in Wilson, and the Rays are looking at, or reported to be looking at, several other relievers, including San Diego's Brad Hand, Pittsburgh's Tony Watson, San Francisco's Hunter Strickland.
But the talks with Detroit indicate Wilson may be their top choice, and for good reason.
He is 29, has a modest salary ($2.7-million), would be under their control via arbitration in 2018, is versatile in being able to handle right-handers as well.
He also has been very good this season, with a 2.29 ERA over 37 games, with 50 strikeouts and 12 walks in 35 1/3 innings, whilel averaging 96 mph with his fastball. Since taking over as the Tigers closer he has recorded 10 saves.
Broad interest in Wilson could make the acquisition cost in terms of prospects high for the Rays, which could temper their interest.
Watson, whom Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal reported the interest in, makes more than twice as much money ($5.6-million), is 32, a free agent after the season and hasn't been nearly as effective with a 3.67 ERA and advanced metrics trending downward. But he also would be cheaper to acquire.