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Free agent Wilson not expected to sign until after season starts

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

Free-agent reliever and former Giants star closer Brian Wilson continues his rehabilitation pretty much in anonymity, and it might be several weeks into the season until he's ready to sign.

Wilson, coming back from a second Tommy John ligament transfer surgery, prefers not to audition for clubs until he is 100 percent, according to a source with knowledge of the pitcher's situation.

Wilson, who is throwing bullpen sessions, is said to be at about “80 to 85 percent.”

He did throw for the Mets in January, was underwhelming and, shortly afterward, apparently decided his best bet was to make sure his arm strength was all the way back before submitting to another audition.

The likely scenario at this point is Wilson will wind up signing with a club after the season starts, probably several weeks after opening day.

Wilson, 30, underwent the second Tommy John surgery last April, so he is still not even 12 months out from the knife. It typically takes at least a year before a pitcher regains full strength following the procedure.

A career-long Giant, Wilson was San Francisco's closer from 2008 through last April, when he was shelved for the season with his latest elbow injury. Over seven seasons, Wilson compiled a 3.21 ERA, collected 171 saves and had a 2.39 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

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