Interest in C.J. Wilson intensifies
The bidding for free-agent left-hander C.J. Wilson is heating up — but it isn’t over yet.
Sources say Wilson could sign before the end of the week, but there wasn’t a clear frontrunner to sign him as of early Tuesday morning. The Angels and Marlins are in the thick of it, and the Rangers aren’t completely out of the picture, either. Wilson's agent met with the Marlins Tuesday; that possibility isn't gone — yet. The Rangers are scheduled to speak with Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, Tuesday night.
The Marlins hot pursuit of free-agent prize 1B Albert Pujols may affect the team's pursuit of Wilson but Marlins brass met internally Tuesday to talk various issues, including Pujols. The team is still in the mix for pitchers Wilson and Mark Buehrle.
Garber has been a popular man at this week’s winter meetings, speaking with Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto on Monday night and scheduling a meeting with Marlins officials on Tuesday, sources say.
The Marlins have been the lead actor in baseball’s Hot Stove, announcing their deal with closer Heath Bell on Monday, one day after they agreed to a nine-figure contract with shortstop Jose Reyes. And they aren’t done, pursuing Wilson, fellow left-hander Mark Buehrle and superstar Albert Pujols.
One source described the Marlins as being “as aggressive as anyone” on Wilson, adding, “They will be tough to fend off.”
Wilson (16-7, 2.94, 206 K’s) has received contract offers from four clubs, sources say, including the Angels and Marlins. There is growing sentiment that Wilson will sign a six-year contract, and surpass the five-year, $82.5 million guarantees signed by A.J. Burnett and John Lackey in recent years.
The Rangers — the only organization the 31-year-old Wilson has known — remain involved and are likely to make a contract offer this week. The Red Sox and Cubs also have been gauging Wilson’s market, although it’s not clear if either has tendered a formal offer.
The Nationals also have been viewed as a suitor for Wilson, but sources have downplayed their interest in recent days.