PHILADELPHIA -- Brian Wilson's decision to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday might have come as a shock to much of the Giants fan base, but Wilson's former teammates were happy that the mercurial closer is getting another chance.
"I'm definitely curious to see what he's featuring," Tim Lincecum said.
Asked if he was talking about Wilson's on-field ability or his trademark black beard, Lincecum smiled.
"All of the above," he said.
Lincecum and the Giants should get an up-close look at Wilson before the season is through. The Giants go to Los Angeles on Sept. 12 and host the Dodgers during the season's last homestand.
Wilson had his second Tommy John surgery in April 2012 and has been rehabbing ever since. According to the Los Angeles Times, Wilson's $1 million contract is guaranteed and runs through the end of this season. He is expected to return to the big leagues in the middle of August.
After seven seasons with the Giants, Wilson is sure to draw an interesting reaction from those at AT&T Park, but his former teammates said the matchups won't be contentious.
"It's kind of a bittersweet thing," Matt Cain said. "He's with the Dodgers, our biggest rival, but I'm happy for him because he's back playing. Probably a lot of people thought he'd be done.
"You know that once he comes back, he might have some hard feelings from the fans. But just as many will be excited to see him back out there again."
Cain was one of several Giants to send Wilson a congratulatory text when news of the signing broke.
"I told him that hopefully he'll hang a slider if I get to hit off of him," Cain said.
Current Giants closer Sergio Romo also texted Wilson, offering support to a man who helped Romo adapt to the big leagues.
"I said it when he first got hurt, he was going to play again," Romo said. "He's the best example of willpower I've ever seen."
Romo has a bit of a history with Wilson's new team. During the last meeting between the rivals, Romo mocked Hanley Ramirez's celebratory gesture, then was yelled at by Ramirez and Yasiel Puig when the Dodgers stormed to a ninth-inning victory the next day. Still, Romo said it won't be weird to see Wilson in Dodger blue.
"I'm just happy he's got a job," Romo said. "To see him in another uniform is just seeing a friend playing baseball."
A day before the trade deadline, Wilson stole the headlines with his decision to switch to the other side of a storied rivalry. The move was even discussed in the home clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, where the Giants began a three-game series with the Phillies on Tuesday night. Former Giant Kevin Frandsen said he had talked to Wilson, his former roommate.
"He's excited," Frandsen said. "He wants to compete. He wants to compete at the highest level. He made sure he was ready and made sure he was right."
Frandsen knows better than most what Wilson has been going through. The infielder grew up a Giants fan, but in a Phillies clubhouse swirling with trade rumors, he pointed out that this is simply the business side of the game.
"People are going to have their allegiances to the Giants," he said. "But put yourself in that situation. You understand that there's going to be a lot of hate. People 'can't believe he's doing that to us.' But at some point, people will realize that he was a great Giant. A great Giant."
Barry Zito (shown handing the ball to manager Bruce Bochy) couldn't escape the fourth inning in Tuesday's loss. PAGE 5