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Tampa Bay Rays Showing Interest in Brian Wilson

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Apr 17, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson (00) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of their baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson (00) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the eighth inning of their baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports /
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Former Giants closer Brian Wilson is attempting to make a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher. Count the Tampa Bay Rays among those who are interested in his services.

When last we saw Brian Wilson, he was struggling with the Dodgers. A far cry from the three time All Star closer, Wilson had posted a 4.66 ERA and a 1.614 WHiP before being shut down due to elbow issues. The Dodgers released Wilson at the end of the season, eating $9.5 Million in salary.

After not pitching at all in 2015 and 2016, Wilson is looking to make a comeback. In doing so, he is a completely different player than the one we had come to know. His trademark beard is gone, and Wilson is looking to make his comeback as a knuckleballer. Naturally, the Tampa Bay Rays are interested in his services.

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If the Rays interest goes beyond the natural curiosity and leaving no stones unturned, then he could be an interesting pickup. Topkin also notes that the Rays would sign Wilson on a minor league deal, making him the perfect lottery ticket. If he struggles in his conversion, then the Rays really would not lose anything of much value.

It is difficult to gauge just what Wilson could be in his latest form. His past performance is entirely irrelevant, as he would be featuring the flutterball. One also has to wonder if he would remain in the bullpen, or attempt to transition to a starting role.

Wilson has thrown a knucleball once before in game action. He threw a knuckleball for his first pitch against the Mariners in a Spring Training game three years ago, getting a called strike. This is something he had been toying with for some time, although he had yet to throw a knuckler during the regular season.

Next: The case for signing Wieters

Brian Wilson is making a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher, and the Tampa Bay Rays are interested. He would certainly be quite the interesting lottery ticket, and a low risk, high reward signing.

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