With the way the Boston Red Sox rotation performed down the stretch, it is clear that pitching is the team's biggest need in the offseason.
Many big-name starting pitchers will be available, including C.J. Wilson and possibly CC Sabathia.
Although the need for starting pitching is huge in Boston, it would be wise for the Sox to stay away from the big names and look into the second-tier market.
Although it seems like C.J. Wilson is one of the newer names in baseball, he is already 30 years old.
2011 was just his second season as a starter, as he previously pitched in the bullpen for the Texas Rangers.
Boston's track record for signing starting pitching at this age has not been very good, and the Red Sox would likely have to dish out a John Lackey-type contract, if not more, to sign Wilson.
Ownership could probably afford to make such a signing, but the fact that Wilson will be 31 on opening day should scare the Red Sox away.
It seems as though he has just entered his prime, with two spectacular seasons in a row, and they would be wise to stay away from Wilson this offseason.
C.J. Wilson will more than likely be the biggest free agent pitcher on the market, reliant upon CC Sabathia re-upping his deal with the New York Yankees, and he will likely warrant a huge contract.
With hundreds of millions of dollars already invested into the pitching staff, the Boston Red Sox should stay clear of offering Wilson a massive contract.
In the coming years, they will need to offer contracts to Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury, and the money that would be allocated to Wilson could be more wisely spent on those two guys.
It would certainly be nice to have an arm like Wilson in Boston, but the price tag will likely be too high.
Although it is a small sample size, C.J. Wilson has not pitched very well in the postseason for the Texas Rangers over the past two seasons.
He is supposed to be the team's ace, but Wilson has only one postseason win in the last two years, which came in last year's ALDS against Tampa Bay.
In the two seasons, he has posted a 5.40 ERA with a record of 1-4 in the postseason.
If the ultimate goal in Boston is to win the World Series, why bring a guy with a bad track record in the postseason?
This offseason, the free agent class for starting pitching is pretty deep, and the Boston Red Sox could sign two or three guys for the price that it would take them to sign Wilson.
Pitchers available include, but are not limited to, Mark Buehrle, Rich Harden, Edwin Jackson, Joel Pineiro and Javier Vazquez.
The Red Sox are not really in need of a top-of-the-rotation guy, as they have Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, so why not sign two or three of the second-tier guys to add some depth to the rotation?
Ownership may want the front office to make a big splash this offseason to get fan confidence back after all that has come out since the collapse, but signing C.J. Wilson is not the move to make.