Yankees will not sign Brian Wilson ... because he won't shave his beard

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Brian Wilson's beard means more to him than pitching for the Yankees.
Brian Wilson's beard means more to him than pitching for the Yankees. (USATSI)

With Mariano Rivera calling it a career and GM Brian Cashman saying he's "not sure" if setup man David Robertson is ready for the ninth inning, the Yankees figure to be in the market for a closer this winter. Joe Nathan and Grant Balfour are free agents, among others, but we can cross former Giants closer Brian Wilson off the list. Why? Look:

The Yankees have had a pretty strict facial hair policy -- neatly groomed mustaches only, no hair below the lip -- for decades now, a policy the right-hander wants no part of. Remember, Wilson reportedly turned down a cool $1 million to shave his beard earlier this year.

In 24 games with the Dodgers after returning from his second Tommy John surgery, Wilson allowed one run total in 19 1/3 innings between the regular season and postseason in 2013. His fastball sat in the mid-90s and his slider was a wipeout pitch.

Given his power stuff and pedigree as a World Series winning closer, Wilson made an awful lot of sense for New York. Alas, it is not meant to be.

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