Name: C.J. Wilson.
Position: Left handed pitcher.
Vital Statistics: Age-31. Height-6’1″. Weight-210. Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 5th round of the 2001 MLB Draft.
Agent: Bob Garber.
Might he return to the Rangers? Yes.
Teams that could use and pay him: Texas Rangers; New York Yankees; Boston Red Sox; Toronto Blue Jays; Baltimore Orioles; Detroit Tigers; Kansas City Royals; Minnesota Twins; Los Angeles Angels; Seattle Mariners; Washington Nationals; New York Mets; Florida Marlins; Milwaukee Brewers; Cincinnati Reds; Chicago Cubs; Los Angeles Dodgers.
Wilson is durable and hasn’t had the massive workload that accompanies being a starting pitcher throughout his big league career. He has a clean motion and was a starter in the minors before switching to the bullpen in 2006; he made it to the big leagues and was a reliever until 2010. He’s still fresh.
His versatility will make him useful even if he no longer has the ability to start by the waning years of his contract—he was a closer for the Rangers.
He throws a good, moving fastball; has a nice curve and change-up; is willing to pitch inside; strikes out a fair number of hitters; and despite pitching in a notorious hitters’ ballpark, allowed only 26 homers in 427 innings as a starter over the past two seasons. Wilson induces a lot of ground balls, so he needs a solid infield defense.
He’s very, very pretty according to female purring when he’s on the mound or on camera.
He’s can get wild and has a big mouth which might irritate teammates; players who love to hear themselves talk tend to grate on the nerves.
His results in the post-season have been terrible. With his personality, he appears to get too excited when pitching in a big game, tries to throw too hard and forgets what it was that made him successful. When a pitcher tries to throw too hard or the adrenaline is pumping too heavily, his pitches tend to flatten out and stay up in the strike zone; his post-season struggles weren’t due to a lack of stuff.
What he’ll want: 6-years, $105 million.
What he’ll get: 5-years, $87 million with a club option for a 6th year pushing it to a possible $105 million; plus an opt-out after 3 seasons.
Teams that might give it to him: Yankees; Red Sox; Orioles; Blue Jays; Tigers; Royals; Angels; Mariners; Nationals; Marlins; Dodgers; Cubs.
The Yankees are playing their cards close to the vest so far, but you can bet that they’d dearly love to get rid of A.J. Burnett and replace him with Wilson; how feasible that is remains to be seen, but someone will take a chance on Burnett’s talent at the right price.
The Orioles desperately need pitching and have money to spend, but with the demand Wilson will be in they’d have to overpay drastically to get him and they don’t have a GM yet.
The Nationals also need starting pitching.
Wilson is from Southern California putting the Dodgers and Angels in play; the Angels love to collect 200-inning starting pitchers and a rotation of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Wilson and Tyler Chatwood would be devastating.
The Marlins are diving into free agency and don’t discount the Cubs.
Would I sign Wilson if I were a GM? Yes.
Will it be a “bad” signing for the club that does pay him? No. He’s not a kid—he’s 31-years-old—but as said earlier, his pitching age is different from his actual age because he was a reliever for the first 5 years of his career. It’s almost like an individual placed in a controlled environment—they don’t age as fast. The wear on his tires is lessened; the clean motion and lack of overuse bodes well for him staying healthy into his mid-30s and remaining effective.