Tigers closer Justin Wilson won’t hide from trade talk
Seattle — The consensus around baseball is if and when general manager Al Avila decides the Tigers are going to be sellers at the trade deadline, closer Justin Wilson is going to be as coveted as any player on the roster, including J.D. Martinez.
This doesn’t bother Justin Wilson, not even a little bit.
“No,” he said, when asked if the trade talk gets to him at all. “Hopefully we’re in the mix and start playing better and it won’t matter. But if it happens, it happens. And if it does happen, hopefully I go to a team that’s in it.
“And if it doesn’t happen, then we’re in it. That’s what I’m really looking for.”
He doesn’t quite see it as a win-win situation for him.
“It is in a sense, but I enjoy it here,” he said. “I want to win here, so I hope (the Tigers) keep me. But, obviously, I do understand the business side of it.”
There are very few contending teams that couldn’t use an upper-90s-throwing left-hander to supplement or bolster the back end of their bullpen. Not all of them, though need a closer.
“I don’t care where I pitch, man,” Wilson said. “I really don’t. I like to close. It’s been great and I’d like to continue doing it. But I’d rather win over closing, truthfully.
“Hopefully I am here because it means that we’re winning. I’d rather win here than go somewhere else and win.”
John Hicks made his major-league debut with the Mariners in 2015. And other than the initial thrill of his first big-league experience, things went poorly.
He was in the lineup for the Tigers Tuesday, playing at Safeco Field for the first time since he was released by the Mariners. He was 0-for-15 here with eight strikeouts.
“I just never got rolling,” he said. “I had a crap season in Triple-A and right before September I came up. I was never comfortable in the box and it just wore on me. I tried to do this and I tried to do that and it never came around.”
He wound up getting waived in the offseason. That offseason, he spent a lot of time working on swing tips he got from the Mariners’ Kyle Seager and it turned his career around.
“I don’t want to look at it (his time in Seattle) as a blessing, but it opened my eyes a little bit,” Hicks said. “I changed a lot that offseason as far as my swing and since then it’s been good to go.
“It was a frustrating time when I was here. I was searching every day for something and I didn’t know what I was looking for.”
Around the horn
Outfielder Jim Adduci (oblique) is on track to begin a rehab assignment when the Tigers return on Monday. “We haven’t figured out exactly when and where he will go,” Ausmsus said. “He’s going to need probably 30 to 40 at-bats.”
... Tigers prospect Matt Manning got the opening day start for Class-A Connecticut Tuesday. He pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits, a walk and nine strikeouts.