Free Agent pitcher C. J. Wilson has been racking up the Frequent Flier miles this off-season. The left hander has visited the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and, yesterday, toured the new facilities of the Miami Marlins.
Bob Garber, Wilson’s agent, declined to comment when asked if the Marlins had made his client an offer, but did say “They (the Marlins) rolled out the red carpet. They seem to have a plan and made it very clear they’d like C.J. to be a part of it.”
According to Garber, Wilson hopes to make a decision on where he will play in 2012 and beyond during the Winter Meetings, which take place next week in Dallas.
For those of you still holding out hope that he returns to the Texas Rangers, it doesn’t look good. According to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram, C.J. has another recruiting visit scheduled this week, but it’s not with the Rangers. Now, obviously the hurler already knows everyone involved with the Texas ball club, so a visit certainly isn’t needed there, but that he’s continuing to vivist other clubs could be telling.
What’s more telling, however, is that Jon Daniels told reporters last week that “C.J. is looking for what the market will bring. He deserves to be well-compensated.” In other words, unless Wilson expresses a real desire to stay in Texas, as in he offers the club a “hometown discount”, don’t expect that C.J. will be back in Arlington wearing home whites.
The Rangers have already covered themselves in anticipation that Wilson will walk, though they state publicly that the door remains open for a return of their soon-to-be former southpaw. With already a full five-man starting staff in place, thanks to Neftali Feliz shifting to a starting role, the Rangers can afford to show restraint in pursuing any free agent pitcher, including Wilson.
Daniels has stated, however, that the club remains in the market for a starting pitcher. If not Wilson, the Rangers could pursue left hander Mark Buehrle or right hander Roy Oswalt; both of whom are expected to cost less than Wilson. How much less remains to be seen, however, as once Wilson signs, clubs that missed out on him may increase their interest in those pitchers viewed as being “second-tier” starters.