Interest in free-agent starter C.J. Wilson has been heavy despite his disappointing postseason, sources say.
An official with one of the involved clubs predicted that the Texas Rangers left-hander would get “at least five years” with an option for a sixth year; an official of another club told FOXSports.com that Wilson could end up with a six-year deal.
In other words, Wilson, who turns 31 this week, appears likely to surpass the five-year, $82.5 million guarantees received by John Lackey and A.J. Burnett in recent years.
The Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Marlins, Nationals, and Rangers are among the teams that have already expressed interest in Wilson, sources say.
One executive who’s in the market for pitching seemed to capture the industry sentiment when he said, “It should be a four-year deal, but I bet he gets more. It just takes one club.”
Wilson has been a starting pitcher for only the past two seasons, going 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.215 WHIP in 427 1/3 innings. He outperformed Burnett and Lackey over the two years approaching their free agencies by a fairly wide margin.
Some have suggested that Wilson’s performance over the past two postseasons – 1-5 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 games – would dampen interest in his services. But he actually has a 2.95 ERA in four career World Series games and seems likely to get a larger guarantee than fellow left-handed free agent Mark Buehrle, who is 20 months older.
The Angels are seen by some as a natural fit for Wilson, because of his California roots. But Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, said recently, “C.J. lived in Manhattan last off-season – he’s very familiar with the lifestyle there. Yes, he’s a California guy who’s played in Texas, but I don’t think the region is going to be a factor in where he wants to play.”
-- Jon Paul Morosi