MLB Free Agents 2012: 5 Most Likely Destinations for CJ Wilson
Where oh where will Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson go?
Outside of Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia, Wilson will be the most sought after pitcher in Major League Baseball free agency.
Wilson, who turns 31 Nov. 18, has come into his own the last two year by going 31-15 with a 3.00 ERA in 447.1 innings.
The lefty is a big reason the Rangers went to back-to-back World Series, and he will command well over $10 million a year.
Who are the frontrunners in the Wilson sweepstakes?
5: Texas Rangers
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It figures the Texas Rangers will try retaining their ace pitcher. While it's true team president Nolan Ryan did not want to negotiate during the season, the team was making a playoff run and did not want any distractions.
Texas lost ace Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies last year, and it would be difficult recovering from losing another top starter.
Wilson has played is entire seven-year career in Arlington and has seen team success with two World Series titles.
Besides being Wilson's first team, the Rangers will give the lefty a raise. Texas paid Wilson $7 million this year and probably will bring him back if his asking price isn't too high.
4: Boston Red Sox
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The Boston Red Sox have an incentive and money to land C.J. Wilson.
September's historic collapse was brought about by poor pitching.
John Lackey ( 0-2, 9.12 ERA), Josh Beckett (1-2, 5.48 ERA) and Jon Lester (1-3, 5.40 ERA) did not come through.
Meanwhile, Wilson was stellar in September, going 3-1 with a 1.21 ERA.
With closer Jonathan Papelbon's $12 million possibly coming off the books, the Red Sox would have extra money to try outbidding other teams for Wilson.
3: New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees are always looking to upgrade their team via the league's top free agents.
New York could be an intriguing option for Wilson, as the Yankees are in a big market and perennially compete for a World Series.
While the Yankees are trying to resign C.C. Sabathia, they still have millions to throw to someone Wilson's caliber.
And the Yankees need someone like Wilson because Sabathia was the only consistent starter on the staff. A one-two punch of Sabathia/Wilson would help stabilize New York's pitching.
2: Chicago Cubs
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The Chicago Cubs starting rotation could use significant help, and signing C.J. Wilson would go a long ways addressing that.
Ryan Dempster (10-14, 4.80 ERA) had a disappointing year and appears to be slowing down. Also, Andrew Cashner missed most of the season with injury and lost a year of development.
This resulted in many inexperienced pitchers going in and out of the rotation and creating instability.
The Cubs already have Matt Garza to anchor the rotation, and team president Theo Epstein might want to bring in lefty in a right-handed heavy rotation.
A potential rotation of Garza, Wilson, Wells and Cashner would help Chicago win more consistently.
1: Philadelphia Phillies
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The Philadelphia Phillies are officially looking for a starting pitcher, as the club did not renew Roy Oswalt's option.
Philly is coming off a terrible postseason performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS that derailed a perfect opportunity for a team geared to win the World Series in 2011.
Besides having loads of moolah, Philadelphia has aces Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in the rotation. If Philly lands Wilson, it will have the league's top starting rotation again.