The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made a huge splash this offseason by signing Albert Pujols, but in the long run, it will be the signing of pitcher C.J. Wilson that will be the more important signing.
Pujols has gotten off to a terrible start, but you basically know what you're going to get from him.
The Angels signed Pujols for the production in his first five seasons. He'll age and be a similar player to Alex Rodriguez now—still a good player, but no longer elite.
Wilson is the guy who has the chance to make the big splash in Los Angeles.
Once the playoffs come around, it's the pitching staff that takes over.
The NHL playoffs have begun and you see what a hot goalie can do for a team. Jonathan Quick and Mike Smith have carried their respective teams so far this postseason.
A pitcher or pitching staff can do the same thing in baseball.
Wilson joining the Angels gives the team arguably the best starting staff in the majors. Their top-four pitchers include Wilson, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
If Ervin Santana comes around, that's the best starting four in baseball. Philadelphia has the best two in Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, but the top four for the Angels is better overall.
Wilson has gotten off to a hot start for the Angels. He's posted a 2.70 ERA and three wins so far this season.
It's vital to the Angels' success for him to continue his hot pitching.
Free-agent pitcher signings have backfired tremendously in the past. Guys like Mike Hampton, Barry Zito and Johan Santana all received monster contracts and didn't perform up to it.
The 31-year-old Wilson is showing so far this season he will not be a bust like others before. Adding Wilson into this rotation is how the Angels will get over the hump.
Los Angeles has been a good team the last few years, but remained behind Texas in their division and the AL East teams in the Wild Card race.
With the MLB adding an extra Wild Card team in the playoffs, there's no chance the Angels miss the playoffs this year. They have played horrible up to this point, but baseball is a long season and eventually teams turn around.
Once in the playoffs, the Angels will have a chance in every series by adding Wilson to the rotation. Wilson has proven the last two postseasons he can get it done in October. Throwing out Weaver, Haren and Wilson at teams can shut down the potent American League lineups.
That's going to be the formula for success in the postseason for the Angels.
At some point, Pujols will come around and obviously be a major contributor in their lineup.
However, the signing of Wilson is the one that can get the Angels over the hump. Pitching and defense is normally the formula for success in the playoffs.
With Wilson, the Angels have a top pitching staff.
With Wilson, the Angels can win a title.
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