The Los Angeles Times has reported that Angels manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry Dipoto shared a dinner with Wilson on Monday, adding another example to a growing list of actions and quotes that confirm Anaheim's serious interest in the left-handed ace.
MLB.com has confirmed this latest dinner meeting, pointing out that Scioscia's pre-dinner quotes might point to a real interest in the southpaw pitcher: "You can never have enough starting pitching... I'm sure there will be a lot of interest in [Wilson]."
When I first reported on the Angels' interest in Wilson, the attraction appeared tepid and more exploratory than intricately involved.
At the time, Dipoto had mentioned that he was "intrigued" by the possibility of adding Wilson to the Angels' starting rotation.
Experts have estimated that Wilson will command anywhere from $15 to $25 million in 2012, with a five-year, $75-million contract being the most popular figure thrown around.
Owner Arte Moreno himself has predicted the Angels payroll will stay at or near 2011 levels, between $130 and $140 million. Accordingly, the Angels will have an estimated $15 million to spend on free agents this offseason—just enough to fetch C.J. Wilson at a bargain price.
Meanwhile, Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels has all but completely eliminated Wilson's name in his discussion of the 2012 Rangers squad. When asked about possible starters in 2012 for the Rangers, Daniels set his rotation as Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman.
The Rangers know there will be no Wilson on their roster next season.
The only question left to be answered is where will Wilson end up.
If dinner has anything to do with it, expect the Angels to formally bid for Wilson and potentially offer him a deal within the next few months, if not sooner.