Angels in lengthy negotiation for Pujols

The most compelling question of the baseball offseason — Where is Albert Pujols going to sign? — isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seemed.

Sources told on Wednesday evening that the Los Angeles Angels, a team barely mentioned as a possible suitor until the past 24 hours, were engaged in a lengthy set of negotiations with Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano.

The Angels also are poised to sign free-agent left-hander C.J. Wilson to a five-year contract – and their goal is to land both Wilson and Pujols, according to major-league sources.

The big-spending Miami Marlins pursuit of Pujols ended earlier Wednesday, leaving the Angels as perhaps the strongest challenger to the St. Louis Cardinals’ efforts to keep Pujols. However, sources told that a third unspecified team has remained involved.

The Angels, under first-year general manager Jerry Dipoto, can offer one possibility the Cardinals, Marlins, and Cubs can’t: As an American League team, the risk of a nine- or 10-year contract is mitigated by the presence of a designated hitter.