The Tigers are moving toward a possible deal with free-agent bullpen closer Brian Wilson, The Detroit News has learned.

A source told The Detroit News that negotiations with the ex-Dodgers and Giants reliever were serious. The source requested anonymity because a deal had not been reached.

It is known Wilson met Sunday with Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and with Wilson’s agent, Dan Lozano, during an earnest business session in Los Angeles.

Wilson is a 31-year-old right-handed fireman who last season pitched for the Dodgers and who earlier had standout years for the Giants, highlighted by his league-leading 48 saves in 2010.

Wilson had Tommy John ligament surgery in 2012 that ended his seven-year era in San Francisco. He signed with the Dodgers and returned in 2013 to pitch in 18 games. Wilson, a man whose fastball is as prominent as his black beard, had an 0.66 ERA for the Dodgers and a 0.88 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning). He struck out 13 batters and walked four in 13.2 innings.

The Tigers have been aggressively hunting a closer after relying for the past year on a mixed bag of ninth-inning performers. Joaquin Benoit filled the job during the 2013 season’s second half, but Benoit is a 36-year-old free agent and the Tigers plainly have wanted a younger, more dynamic arm for their ninth-inning missions.

Joe Nathan, who pitched the past two seasons for the Rangers, was among the Tigers’ considerations, but Nathan turned 39 on Friday and he and his agent, David Pepe, have not had serious conversations with Detroit, despite Nathan’s open ardor for the Tigers.

Grant Balfour, another free-agent closer, has not appeared to be on Detroit’s radar. His inconsistency for the A’s in 2013 likely dissuaded the Tigers more than his on-the-field verbal tussle with Victor Martinez during the division playoff series against Oakland.

Wilson’s fastball was not a scorcher in 2013 as he returned from surgery, but it ran consistently in the 93-95-mph range and touched 96-97. It is anticipated he will add velocity in 2014, two years removed from his second Tommy John operation.

Wilson is 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and a New Hampshire native who pitched at Louisiana State. His big-league career numbers: 3.10 ERA, 171 saves, 1.32 WHIP. He has allowed 294 hits in 333.2 innings, with 353 strikeouts and 146 walks.\