MLB Free Agency 2012: 5 Most Likely Destinations for C.J. Wilson

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIOctober 14, 2011

MLB Free Agency 2012: 5 Most Likely Destinations for C.J. Wilson

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    Even with his Texas Rangers one win away from the World Series, C.J. Wilson is a hot topic because of his upcoming free agency.

    The left-hander is the market's No. 1 pitcher—unless CC Sabathia opts out of his contract with the New York Yankees—so he's destined for a lucrative contract. 

    Wilson went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.19 WHIP for Texas in 2011.

5. Boston Red Sox

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    The Red Sox might be hesitant to go all-in on C.J. Wilson because they spent so much money last offseason—not to mention that Carl Crawford was a bust—but pitching was certainly an issue for Boston in 2011.

    Ranking No. 9 in the AL in ERA and No. 13 in quality starts, the Red Sox could definitely use Wilson.

4. Chicago Cubs

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    Prior to the 2011 season, a lot of speculation arose about Albert Pujols signing with the Chicago Cubs as a 2012 free agent.

    That could still happen, and Theo Epstein would love to make a splash in his first winter as Chicago's GM. However, the likelihood of Pujols actually signing with the Cubs seems slimmer now. His relationship with former GM Jim Hendry led to the initial speculation.

    Instead, Epstein might focus his offseason on luring C.J. Wilson to Chicago.

    The Cubs ranked No. 14 in the NL in ERA and No. 15 in quality starts, two areas Wilson would obviously enhance.

3. New York Mets

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    Sandy Alderson freed up payroll space by dealing Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee. Plus, Oliver Perez's $12 million per year contract has expired.

    The New York Mets have money to spend this offseason, and while a certain chunk might be alloted to keeping Jose Reyes in Queens, Alderson will definitely pursue starting pitching.

    The Mets, who ranked No. 13 in the NL in ERA and No. 10 in quality starts, will target C.J. Wilson. They have plenty of cash to offer and could definitely win the bidding war for the southpaw.

2. New York Yankees

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    Even if CC Sabathia doesn't opt out of his contract, the Yankees have already established their pitching rotation as a priority in the offseason.

    The rotation—Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, specifically—exceeded expectations in 2011. But Colon is certainly done, and the Yankees would like an upgrade over Garcia as the No. 3 starter.

    Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett are both still looming question marks, and the Yankees would prefer a more reliable option to bolster their rotation.

    With the dearth of options on the market, they likely won't back away from Wilson.

1. Texas Rangers

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    C.J. Wilson will demand more than the $7.05 million he made in 2011, but why can't the Rangers re-sign their ace?

    Texas ranked No. 13 in MLB with a $92.3 million payroll in 2011, so GM Jon Daniels can certainly afford to shell out a few more million to keep Wilson in Arlington.

    This Texas team has the potential to maintain elite status in the American League for a few years, and Wilson might be enticed by the chance to win multiple World Series. 

    He's spent each of his seven seasons in Texas, so he might even be willing to spurn more lucrative offers to remain a Ranger.