C.J. Wilson will be the top pitcher in the free agent market this offseason. Sure, C.C. Sabathia can—and likely will—opt-out of of his contract with the Yankees, but it is just as likely that he will then re-sign with the Yankees for more money.
After Wilson, the top free agent pitchers are mid-rotation starters. While they may help a team that is stacked in the front of the rotation, they will not alter the effectiveness of a rotation.
Roy Oswalt has a $16 million mutual option and Chris Carpenter has a $15 million team option but age and injury history may suppress the market for both of them if they become free agents. Edwin Jackson brings potential, but he has failed to be the front of rotation starter that his potential has promised. Finally, Mark Buehrle may offer a team the opportunity to add a stalwart in their rotation, but he is not exactly a game changer.
Some team is destined to overpay for Wilson. It would not be shocking to see C.J. Wilson get a $100 million deal, spanning six to eight years. Although Wilson has blossomed in the last two years and is likely to be an effective starter for a few more, he is not the ace that he has been held out to be. At the back-end of a large contract, the team that owes him may be regretful.
Here are the top five candidates to overpay for Wilson.