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After leading the Rangers to their second consecutive World Series C.J. Wilson promises to be a hot commodity this offseason.
He may or may not be the best starting pitcher on the market this year, but one thing is certain: C.J. Wilson represents the best combination of pitching ability and age available for teams seeking pitching this year.
Don't let Wilson's age (31) scare you. He's only been a starting pitcher for two full major league seasons.
Take a look at the American League Cy Young Award winner this season. Justin Verlander is only 28 but he entered the majors in the same season as Wilson did—2005. Since then Verlander has amassed 199 starts and 1,315.1 innings pitched. Compare that to Wilson, who in the same period of time has 73 starts and 708 innings pitched.
That's not to say that Verlander will tire or weaken anytime soon. It does show that Wilson's age might not be as much of a factor as it would normally be for a 31-year-old starter.
Then when you throw in the fact that in the two seasons in which Wilson has been a starting pitchers, he's fared pretty well. 2011 was better than 2010, and remember that Wilson pitches in one of baseball's more hitter-friendly ball parks in Arlington, Texas.
With all that going for him, Wilson will command a premium on the open market. As of now the teams that seem to be most overt in their interest are the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins.
The Marlins and Nationals seem to be in touch with everyone this offseason, but just because they talk to a player doesn't mean he'll sign with them. The Angels, in spite of genuine interest, already have a fair amount of starting pitching with Ervin Santana, Dan Haren and Jared Weaver.
That leaves the Yankees and Rangers. The Rangers recent acquisition of Joe Nathan means they will move closer Neftali Feliz to the rotation. Texas seems to already be prepping for Wilson's departure. The Yankees have money to spend, though, and now that they've locked up C.C. Sabathia, they don't need a No. 1 starter,
Wilson as a No. 2 makes a lot of sense, and when the Yankees make up their mind to get someone, they usually do. Look for Wilson in pinstripes next season.