Brian Wilson enters enemy territory, signs with Dodgers 

The Beard is feeling a little blue.

Brian Wilson, the former closer for the Giants, agreed to sign a contract with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for the rest of the season, Yahoo Sports first reported Tuesday. ESPN reported the deal is worth $1 million and also includes performance bonuses.

It's the latest tough pill for Giants fans to swallow this season, as San Francisco entered play Tuesday stuck in the cellar of the NL West, 10 games back of the first-place Dodgers.

"Thank you to the fans in San Francisco," Wilson tweeted Tuesday, his first tweet since October. "It was an honor to pitch in front of you for all those years.... Even though I'll be wearing a different color your impact in my life will never be forgotten."

Yahoo reported that Wilson will report to the Dodgers' complex in Arizona, then head to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on a minor-league rehab assignment. He could report to the big-league club in as soon as two weeks.

When he arrives, Wilson will likely serve as an eighth-inning setup man ahead of closer Kenley Jansen.

The 31-year-old Wilson had Tommy John elbow ligament transfer surgery in April 2012, and had thrown last week for teams at UCLA. The Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks were also believed to be serious about signing Wilson, though the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Giants never officially made Wilson an offer.

The popular reliever with impressive facial hair and a more impressive fastball was a key figure on the 2010 World Series champions, but was non-tendered by San Francisco in November after he made $8.5 million in 2012.

The right-hander recorded 48 saves and posted a 1.81 ERA for the Giants in 2010, then added six more saves in the postseason as the Giants went on to defeat the Texas Rangers in the World Series. His final save came in the clinching game.

Wilson ranks third in Giants history in saves with 171, trailing only Robb Nen (206) and Rod Beck (199).

Giants CEO Larry Baer wouldn't rule out a possible reunion down the road between the Giants and Wilson.

"He was on the mound when we won our first championship," Baer told Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "Nobody forgets that. Nobody will forget that, and we thank him for that. It doesn't mean he'll never be a Giant again. People go and come back."

The Dodgers and Giants have seven games remaining against each other, four in Los Angeles Sept. 12-15 and three at AT&T Park Sept. 24-26.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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