Scouting The Free Agent Market: C.J. Wilson

The Advantages of the Trade Market
Our Man in Chicago

When the Yankees needed pitching last offseason, they went all out and offered Cliff Lee a six-year contract (with a player option!) worth at least $132M. They still need pitching this offseason, but there’s no one on the open market worthy of that kind of commitment. With CC Sabathia re-signed to an extension, the best available free agent pitcher is C.J. Wilson, a left-hander that would help combat Yankee Stadium‘s cozy right field porch.

Joel Sherman has reported a number of times that the Yankees are not enamored with Wilson, and in fact one club official called the Rangers’ nominal ace a number four starter on a championship-caliber team. Despite that, you know we’re going to hear the two parties connected at some point this winter, it’s just the nature of the beast. On the first day of open free agency, let’s break down Wilson’s qualifications…

The Pros

  • Wilson’s first season in the rotation was solid, but he took major steps forward in 2011. His strikeout rate improved from 7.50 K/9 to 8.30 K/9, his swing-and-miss rate from 6.7% to 8.3%, and his walk rate from 4.10 BB/9 to 2.98 BB/9. That helped drop his xFIP from 4.06 to 3.41.
  • A ground ball pitcher, Wilson has gotten batters to beat the ball into the ground either 49.2% or 49.3% of the time in five of the last six years. The one exception came in 2009, when his ground ball rate was 55.4%. Bonus points for cosistency, says Joe Morgan. All the grounders help Wilson keep the ball in the park; he’s allowed just 0.55 HR/9 with a measly 6.7% HR/FB ratio over the last two seasons, and that’s while pitching in a big-time hitters’ park.
  • After throwing 228.1 IP in 2010 (regular season and playoffs), Wilson beefed that up to 251.1 IP in 2011. He responded well to the workload increase based on his fastball velocity, which jumped from 88-91 last year to 92-94 this year. Wilson throws three fastballs (two-seamer, four-seamer, cutter), a low-80’s slider, a low-80’s changeup, and a mid-70’s curve. They are six legit pitches, he’s used each more than 10% of the time as a starter.
  • Wilson flat out annihilates lefties, even as a starter. Since the start of last season, he’s held same-side hitters to a measly .202/.277/.262 batting line with 97 strikeouts and 29 walks in 369 plate appearances. He’s not too shabby against righties either, holding them to a .231/.314/.350 line since the start of last year. For what it’s worth, he’s also got great career numbers against the Red Sox and Rays.
  • Because Wilson has was a position player in college and a reliever for the vast majority of his first five years in the big leagues, his arm doesn’t have as many miles on it compared to most other 30-year-old starters (he’ll turn 31 in about two weeks).

The Cons

  • Although he’s been healthy these last two years, the early part of Wilson’s career was riddling with injury. He had Tommy John surgery back in 2003, missed the start of 2006 with a sore shoulder, missed basically all of Spring Training in 2008 with a sore elbow, missed the last two months of 2008 due to elbow surgery (bone spurs), and then dealt with blisters in 2009. Those are all arm problems and none of them are fluky, except maybe the blisters.
  • Walks have been and probably will continue to be an issue. This year was the first time he ever posted a sub-3.60 BB/9 in a full Major League season, and he’s just one year removed from a league-leading 93 walks. His rates of 16.5 pitches per inning and 4.0 pitches per batter faced are among the ten highest in baseball over the last two seasons (min. 300 IP), so not exactly Mr. Efficient.
  • There’s no denying that Wilson has been a very effective starter these last two seasons, but he just doesn’t have a track record in that role. Whatever team signs him would be betting that he can repeat that kind of production over that many innings for the next half-decade. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but the question still has to be asked.
  • Wilson is a Type-A free agent and the Rangers will assuredly offer him arbitration, so whatever team signs him will forfeit their first round pick to Texas.

Many of you will point to Wilson’s second straight awful postseason showing as a negative, but I just can’t bring myself to put much stock into October numbers. It’s been 52.1 playoff innings and he’s got a 4.82 ERA with a 5.70 FIP. Andy Pettitte had a 5.68 ERA with a 5.84 FIP in his first 50.1 playoff innings. See what I mean? The poor postseason showing will likely affect Wilson’s price though, but I doubt it’ll be much. I still expect him to get something close to the A.J. Burnett and John Lackey contract, meaning five years and $82.5M.

Fittingly, I do find myself thinking about Wilson the same way I thought about John Lackey two years ago, at least in one sense. The Rangers can afford to keep him and they have a need for him, but we haven’t heard anything about them doing all they can to retain him. That makes me wonder what they know that other teams don’t. Obviously we haven’t seen how the Wilson sweepstakes will play out, but it’s still something I’ll be keeping an eye on. If Texas doesn’t make a major effort to retain him, I’d consider it a red flag.

On the surface, Wilson has everything the Yankees could possibly want in a starter. He’s left-handed, gets a ton of ground balls, misses bats, should be good for 200+ innings year-in and year-out … but I just can’t bring myself to it. The lack of a track record scares me, as does the pre-2011 control problems. All those arm injuries earlier in his career are a concern as well. As I said earlier, we’ve heard that the Yankees view Wilson as more of a mid-rotation guy, and that’s pretty much how I value him. Solid guy to have in the rotation, but not someone I’d bend over backwards to sign like Lee last winter.

The Advantages of the Trade Market
Our Man in Chicago
  •!/EricDKoch Eric

    No way, his mechanical issues are too vast and that nasty ‘inverted W’ is going to wreck him soon.

    • Mike Myers

      why do they always call it an inverted ‘W’? shouldnt it just be a ‘M’

  • gc

    No no no…Andy Pettitte was a gritty warrior who dominated in the post-season every time he pitched.

    (except when he sucked)

  • Dave B

    Good post, and I feel exactly the same way about Wilson — solid couple of years, yet I don’t put him in the Lee “need to have him” category. However, he appears to be the best guy out there, and I can’t bring myself to believe he embodies the same question marks as Burnett heading into 2012.

    Mike, if they chose to “pass” on Wilson, or at least resist going to the $80M deal you mention, and rather piece together the rotation like 2011, who becomes available in the 2012 offseason? In other words, are there much better options next year?

    If the answer is yes, I would roll the dice with Freddy and someone like Noesi in 2012.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Hamels, Cain, and Danks to name a few.

  • Joeytime

    I’m all in on darvish… I’ve tracked his progress and he has superstardom written all over him. I also like the fact that he will nit cost a first round pick.
    Cj Wilson is the present day Barry zito he will be shifted to the bullpen down the road due to his disability to consistently throw strikes.

  • Rich in NJ

    I really hope they don’t sign Wilson.

  • DERP

    He also allowed a lot of homers this postseason. I’m sure his xFIP is at least decent.

  • Jesse

    I say Darvish goes to Texas, and someone like the Nationals overpays for him. Maybe even Boston, who knows.

    • Kosmo

      Texas has one of the best young SR in all of baseball and might even convert Perez back to starting if they can sign a FA closer. Why would they throw 100 million at Darvish when they can resign Wilson for less ?

      • Jesse

        Because Yoshi Tateyama needs a friend!


      • Nick


        • Bavarian Yankee

          I guess he’s talking about Feliz.

        • B-Rando


          Even if it was an honest mistake, stuff like that always ruins the perceptive credibility of the poster.

          • Kosmo

            Thank You for correcting an “honest mistake“ ! I don´t think I have much credibility to begin with.

      • J. Scott

        I’m guessing the total dollars involved in securing Darvish will be closer to $150 million than $100 million.

        • Ted Nelson

          Will be interesting to see.

  • Rich in NJ

    Given the reports of spending caps in the next CBA on amateur signings, going all out on Darvish (assuming they have a conviction about him), might be more likely than it might otherwise have been.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      Darvish is not an amateur. I’m sure that players from foreign professional leagues would be excluded.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        In that case, set up a Dominican Pro League where players get paid five bucks a game. That 15 year old Mexican that everyone was excited about, he played in a professional league.

  • aluis

    “His rates of 16.5 pitches per inning and 4.0 pitches per batter faced are among the ten highest in baseball over the last two seasons (min. 300 IP), so not exactly Mr. Efficient.” Imagine what those number will look like against the Redsox.

    Secondly, he pitched in the AL West facing lesser hitters than he will in the AL East. Based on this the Yankees should pass on CJ.

    • Holy Ghost

      “Secondly, he pitched in the AL West facing lesser hitters than he will in the AL East.”

      FWIW, the same argument can be made about King Felix and his success in the AL West

      • Mike Axisa

        Felix doesn’t get to face the Mariners though!

    • B-Rando

      I thought Wilson owned the Sox this year? Maybe I’m misremembering.

      • Jesse

        No, he did. But A.J Burnett owned the Sox Pre-2009…

  • Monteroisdinero

    CJ needs to stay with Texas where we can beat him in the post season.

  • Ted Nelson

    I definitely agree that he is not Cliff Lee, but I put next to no stock in the Rangers’ public posturing on re-signing him. For all you know they could be doing it on purpose to lower his value. As the premier SP on the market, there’s definitely the potential for his price tag to gain an unstoppable upwards momentum. It’s in the Rangers’ own interest to do what they can to stop that from happening. In fact, if they really don’t want him back it’s actually in their interest to raise his value so some other team wastes resources and can’t compete with them for players as well in the future.

    The big difference between Lackey and Wilson, to me, is that Lackey had regressed for a two year period (due in part to injury, granted) before free agency. While Wilson is going strong.

    Not that my opinion is worth anything on the subject, but I’d guess he gets at least Lackey/Burnett money. At that price he’s sort of a medium value, I’d say, and I’d definitely consider it. Much more than that and he gets progressively less attractive, obviously.

  • YankeesJunkie

    The biggest concern is that CJ Wilson is going to make a huge lump of cash somewhere in the 100 million range if not more. What my concern is that not that will he be a good pitcher or not, but last year was most likely his career year at 6 WAR. Paying 15-20 million a year for his down turn is not a very wise investment. However, if the Yankees sign or trade for a younger pitcher such as Darvish who is also risky in that he has never pitched above “AAA”, but he has also been one of the most dominant pitchers with dominating stuff who is only 25 who most likely has 5-7 years of prime left. Not to mention how close to half what the Yankees pay for him is not taxed 40% and it does not cost a first round pick which need to be looked at as well.

  • Frigidevil

    Wilson? No thank Yu.

  • Jesse

    Here’s what I’d like to see happen,

    Trade Burnett to the Padres for a LOOGY while eating a huge chunk out of the remainder of his contract (extreme wishful thinking I know).

    Trade for John Danks, the highest I’ll go for now is Betances, Phelps/Warren, and Romine. Who knows if that’ll get it done.

    And then let teams like the Nationals, Rangers, Blue Jays, Cubs, Marlins, etc overpay for Wilson and Darvish.

    • Yu aint Matsuzaka

      60-70% of 33 million for only a loogy in return is a bit much man.

      Even if its ‘addition by subtraction’ the yankees are better off trading A.J after the ’12 season especially if they’re going to eat most of his remaing salary.

    • Ted Nelson

      You’re going to end up “overpaying” for Danks after next season anyway, so I can’t really get behind that logic.

      • Jesse

        Really stupid question, but define “overpaying”. Is paying Danks a 5 year contract worth say $12-16M a season for say a 3.70ish ERA, 3.80ish FIP, 7.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 during the duration of the contract count as being overpaid?

        • Ted Nelson

          I’m just saying that you have to pay him too. If CJ and Yu will both get “overpaid” because they’re free agents, so should Danks. Ultimately I’m not sure how much any of them will get paid or how any of them will perform going forward. Pitching is so volatile.

          I don’t see why Danks couldn’t get a Burnett/Lackey sort of deal, depending on how his 2012 season goes and how many other elite pitchers are on the market vs. teams looking to spend. I guess the Wilson and Darvish and Buehrle and EJax deals will show us a little more about the current value of pitching.

  • DM

    Forget CJ and Freddy Garcia. And keep the trade chips for later. Woo Buehrle now. He’s the CWS version of Andy Pettite; under-appreciated at times b/c the power numbers aren’t there. But he pitches 200 innings, LH’d, wins his 13-15 games, and he’s Type B. I know he wants to stay in Chicago or go to St Louis; but show him some love — and cash — to change his mind.

    • Alex S

      I like Buehrle as an option because he’s an experience lefthander capable of 200+ innings, type B free agent, but mostly because we have Banuelos and Betances ready to be in the mix if not at the end of 2012 at least in 2013 and CJ will want a 5 – 6 years contract that could block one of them. The other option i like is Yu Darvish because will cost money only. Yankees greatest resource.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t think Buehrle is coming on less than a 3 year deal, unless he prioritizes something besides $.

  • CP

    I find it very interesting that people are eager to trade prospects for one year of an inferior pitcher (Danks), but seem unwilling to spend just money for a better pitcher (Wilson).

    • Jesse

      How is Danks inferior? And what tells you he’ll be around for only one year? You know, the Yankees could sign him to a contract extension when he gets traded, or more likely after seasons end…

      • CP

        John Danks 2010: 3.72ERA, 3.70FIP, 3.99xFIP, 4.3fWAR
        CJ Wilson 2010: 3.35ERA, 3.56FIP, 4.06xFIP, 4.6fWAR

        John Danks 2011: 4.33ERA, 3.82FIP, 3.79xFIP, 3.2fWAR
        CJ Wilson 2011: 2.94ERA, 3.24FIP, 3.41xFIP, 5.9fWAR

        How is Danks not inferior? Because he had a great 2008 season?

        • Jesse

          No, because Danks is younger and he’s been a starter a lot longer than Wilson. And not to mention the injury issues Wilson has had in the past, and that Danks will likely come with a cheaper contract.

          • CP

            No, because Danks is younger

            True, but Wilson isn’t exactly old.

            and he’s been a starter a lot longer than Wilson.

            And so he’s logged a lot more innings. Despite being 4 years older, Wilson has thrown almost 250 fewer professional innings (Wilson did pitch in college while Danks did not, but it doesn’t make up the difference).

            And not to mention the injury issues Wilson has had in the past,

            Wilson has been healthy the last 3 seasons. Danks missed time this year. I’m not sure why injuries from 2008 should impact a decision but injuries from 2011 shouldn’t.

            and that Danks will likely come with a cheaper contract.

            He will be cheaper in terms of dollars in 2012 (but that doesn’t count the prospects). If he’s cheaper than Wilson beyond that, it would be because he’s judge to be not as good a pitcher.

            • Rookie

              And while it’s only half a season, according to, Wilson had a 2.56 ERA after the All Star Break versus 4.48 for Danks.

        • Jesse

          And btw, out of the 707 pitchers across MLB that have thrown a pitch this season, Wilson has faced the 656th toughest opponents based on OPS in 2011 whereas Danks faced the 347th toughest.

          Wilson’s opponents OBP in 2011 was .726 while Danks’ was .753.

          • Jesse


          • CP

            And Danks gave up a .752 OPS to those hitters while Wilson gave up a .651 OPS.

            • Jesse

              And that’s partly because over the last two seasons Wilson faces the A’s and Mariners roughly 25% of the time.. You know, the Mariners with Adam Kennedy or Miguel Oliver as their cleanup hitter, or the A’s with a washed up Hideki Matsui as their cleanup hitter…

              • Jesse

                Olivo, not Oliver..

              • CP

                Let’s assume that the OPS against numbers you posted from BP are what their opponents would do against an average pitcher. I’m not sure whether that’s the case or not since I don’t have a BP account and can’t dig into how those are calculated. The AL average OPS this year was .730, so I’m not sure exactly how they’re weighted.

                Based on that, Wilson pitched better than average against hitters he faced (.651 vs .726) while Danks pitched about average (.752 vs .753). Even if the numbers aren’t absolute OPS’s, it shouldn’t make much difference. The end result is the same. Wilson faced weaker hitters, but pitched much better against them than Danks did. If Danks had held his opponents to an OPS of around .718 while Wilson was around .651 then we could say that they were both as good, and the difference was due to the talent of their opposition. In reality, I don’t believe that’s the case.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I think that they’re close enough (especially in 2010, whereas 2011 may or may not have been an unusually good year for Wilson and is was a pretty bad year for Danks) that it’s unnecessary to say that one will definitively be better going forward. By the time Danks is Wilson’s age he could be a much better pitcher or out of the game with shoulder problems… who knows?

      • Rainbow Connection

        Just like Cliff Lee, right?

        • Jesse

          Yeah just like Cliff Lee since he was under team control after trading Montero and others to the Mariners in July 2010, oh wait…

  • FachoinaNYY

    “Fittingly, I do find myself thinking about Wilson the same way I thought about John Lackey two years ago, at least in one sense. The Rangers can afford to keep him and they have a need for him, but we haven’t heard anything about them doing all they can to retain him. That makes me wonder what they know that other teams don’t. Obviously we haven’t seen how the Wilson sweepstakes will play out, but it’s still something I’ll be keeping an eye on. If Texas doesn’t make a major effort to retain him, I’d consider it a red flag.”

    This paragraph really put Wilson in perspective for me. I think this is an excellent point and is, in fact, potentially very telling about Wilson.

    That being said it could easily be the Rangers are handling the situation and are not commenting. Though I seem to remember them saying something along the lines of they would not be in the market for him at a certain contract he potentially would seek (I think it was 100 million plus contract). It would certainly be a surprise to me if they didn’t go hard after him and if they don’t the team that signs him certainly has to be aware of why the Rangers didn’t go after him.

  • CP

    one club official called the Rangers’ nominal ace a number four starter on a championship-caliber team.

    Except he was the #1 starter on a team that came within one strike of winning the championship.

    • Jesse


  • FIPster Doofus

    Don’t like him personally, don’t want him on the Yankees. And another big contract for a 30-something? Pass. I’d have been fine doing it for Cliff Lee last year, but Wilson’s not Cliff Lee. Darvish or trade route, please.

  • Holy Ghost

    The way I see it, Wilson is better than AJ, Hughes, and Nova but obviously not as good as CC. His upside is probably Andy Pettite in his prime.

    Therefore he should get better offer than AJ’s contract but not as generous as CC’s contract. 4 years for $70 million or 5 years for 80 million seems reasonable. Anymore than that, is probably too much to pay for a #2 or #3 starter…

    • CP

      I generally agree, but AJ’s deal is 5/$82.5M ($16.5M per year). I expect Wilson to get slightly more than that. Probably 5 years and $90-100M

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Except that AJ’s contract was 5/82.5, so you’d have to go higher than that by your reasoning. I wouldn’t wantto go 5 years for Wilson, and the AAV is too high as well.

  • Matt

    I know there is a ton not to like about CJ, and at Lackey/Burnett money, I don’t want him… but… at what price WOULD you sign him? I’d go 4 years $56M ($14M AAV), but I doubt that gets it done.

    • Holy Ghost

      Wilson has been better than Burnett the past two seasons. Why shouldn’t he atleast get paid more than Burnett?

      On a related note, why are people so eager to throw #1 starter money at Darvish(who has no ML track record) but so hesitant to throw #2 starter money at Wilson(who has a good, not “great”, track record)?

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Number 1 money at Darvish? I’m not seeing that. Even if you nclude the posting fee, it’s probably under $120Mil for 5-6 years, and agood portion of that (the posting fee), isn’t subject to the 40% luxury tax. Plus, they don’t have to give up a 1st round draft pick.

        • j

          When you consider the posting implications, we’d likely be paying Darvish the same as Burnett.
          45M posting fee= 45 M
          6 year 70 MM contract * 1.4 Luxury tax = 98 M
          Total = 143 M fo 6 years
          143/6= 23.8


          82.5M * 1.4 = 119 M
          119/5 =23.8

          That was not designed to be exact, just guestimates off the top of my head, BTW.

          • j

            So the only way Darvish would get #1 starter money is is you also think Burnett is getting #1 starter money – that is to say, 16.5M a year is top starter money. Which it is not.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              And these are only “Guestimates”. He may get less than 6/$70 Mil.

        • Holy Ghost

          From Fangraphs:

          “Using the lowest projected figures from that poll ($30 million posting fee, $72 million for a six year contract), the most conservative estimate puts the total price to acquire Darvish at $102 million, or $17 million per season. If you take the average instead, that pushes the total up to $120 million, or right around $20 million per season. Essentially, that price not only treats him as a player with the track record of a Major League front-line starter, but one who has the leverage of a free agent. In reality, he doesn’t have either of those things.”

          • j

            Thats ignoring the luxury tax implications, which was my entire point. If you do agree that 20M is the cost of a front line starter, for the Yankees a front line starter costs 28 million. (20×1.4). Yet, with Darvish, a lot of that 20M is tied up in the posting fee, which is untaxed.

            That article cites an average of a 45 million dollar posting fee and a 6 year 72-75 million dollar contact – exactly the same as my calculations above. If you do the math, that cost would be the exact same as the amout we are paying AJ Burnett.

            Essentially, with posting fee implications, the Darvish contract scenario above would be equivalent to the Yankees signing a pitcher on the FA market for 5yrs/80 million.

            • j

              And that is on top of the fact that 20M is not #1 starter money anymore. See Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia. Its more like 22-24M.

            • Holy Ghost

              ” If you do agree that 20M is the cost of a front line starter, for the Yankees a front line starter costs 28 million. (20×1.4). Yet, with Darvish, a lot of that 20M is tied up in the posting fee, which is untaxed.”

              20 million a year is the cost of a frontline starter for most teams but I agree, the Yanks are the exception.

              The bottomline cost per year for the Yankees would be 17 to 20 million a year.

              • j

                If the Yankees acquired Darvish for a 45 M dollar posting fee, and a 6 year 70-75 million dollar contract, which the Fangraphs article says is the average of the poll, they would be paying him almost exactly the same amount they are paying AJ Burnett.

                The Yankees would essentially have two alternatives that would cost them the same. Acquire Darvish in the scenario envisioned above, or sign a free agent to a 6 year/85 million dollar contract. There is no way in hell they could get a true #1 starter on the FA market (even if one were available) for that cost.

                Of course, this is ignoring the time value of money, but I don’t feel like doing that much work.

                • Holy Ghost

                  The thing is, Darvish isn’t a free agent so he doesn’t have the same amount of leverage as a free agent on the market.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    It goes both ways: you don’t have to pay a posting fee to bid on MLB free agents.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Should say to sign.

          • Bubba

            1. At best the numbers fangraphs is using are WAGs.

            2. The WAGs are from AGENTS… hardly an unbiased source WRT salary estimates.

            3. Once a team wins a posting, most of the leverage moves over to the team. Should the parties fail to reach an agreement the posting fee is returned to the team and the player goes back to Japan.

            4. As many have mentioned a portion of the total cash outlay is not exposed to the luxury tax.

    • Holy Ghost

      To answer your question, I wouldn’t go more than 5 years or above 100 million for CJ Wilson. Anything below 5/100 is ok.

  • mac1

    I think Wilson is a fine option, and I’m not worried about his post season performance. I do think comparing what Pettitte did in the post season at the beginning of his career is not a great comp to a guy who is 31 and supposedly in his prime.

    Same goes for Swish vs. what Cano did when he was starting out, or as Francessa bleats about Berra. You are comparing guys in their prime to guys who were just beginning their careers. Also guys who were more talented as well. Not a good arguement to support the hallowed SSS explanation.

  • mr.jigginz

    I know the ladies love CJ…I know that I usually LOVE lefties in Yankee Stadium,and I know he’s pitched really well the last two seasons as a starter,but there’s something about Wilson that troubles me,and I don’t really know what it is.(I’m for Yu.)

    • SevenAces

      The ladies can love Yu too.

  • theyankeewarrior

    I have no idea what to think about signing CJ. Totally on the fence here.

    But regardless of what I, or anyone thinks of the guy, this was an excellent profile. Awesome job, Mike.

    • Holy Ghost

      I’m with you. I’ve always liked Wilson, and I don’t think his postseason performance should outweigh the two solid years he’s had since becoming a starter.

      OTOH, it’s very telling that Texas doesn’t seem high on paying him the 75 to 100 million he is rumoured to be looking for. If Texas doesn’t feel CJ is worth that kind of money it’s kind of hard to argue that other teams should consider paying him that much.

      • Ted Nelson

        “OTOH, it’s very telling that Texas doesn’t seem high on paying him the 75 to 100 million he is rumoured to be looking for.”

        I don’t think it’s at all telling. What they seem like and what they’re willing to pay might be two completely different things. If they want him back, it’s in their best interest to pay as little as possible. Would you take someone’s word about their hand at a poker table?

        Even if the Rangers don’t want to pay him, who cares? How many good and great players are undervalued by their original team then go on to do better on another team? Happens all the time.

        • Holy Ghost

          I agree that teams sometimes undervalue their own players but the Rangers seem far less enthusiastic about re-signing Wilson than they did Lee last year. They even hinted that they would bid on CC if he became a free agent. It could just be a negotiating tactic but it doesn’t help boost Wilson’s market value.

          • Ted Nelson

            Wilson is not Lee. They should not value Wilson as highly as Lee. Lee is/was better. Part of it may be that while everyone knew the Yankees were all-in on Lee and he would get paid, no one knows exactly what to make of Wilson. He was very good in 2011, bad in the playoffs (last start of the regular season too, I think), and has a short track-record. The bidders and value seem less clear than with Lee. It might behoove the Rangers to lay low and wait Wilson out in case no one else bids big, whereas everyone knew Lee was getting paid.

            “It could just be a negotiating tactic but it doesn’t help boost Wilson’s market value.”

            The Rangers’ goal if they want to re-sign Wilson is to lower his market value, not raise it.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    I don’t know. I just can’t see the Yanks giving CJ a 5-6 year deal, with only 2 years of starting pitching experience.

    Trade for Danks, AND sign Darvish.

    Noesi = 6th/mop up man

    Trade Hughes for something decent or less than decent (given hus 2011).

    ManBan and Dellin get another year to hone their skills at AAA, and then they could compete for 2012 rotation and AJ would be more attractive trade bait with 1 year left on his deal.

  • Jeff

    I agree with most of the points made and I’d be leery about giving him the kind of contract it’s probably going to take to get him, but….that comment by “one club official”, if true, is crap. Wilson was the #1 starter on a team that went 7 games in the World Series and twice was within a strike of winning the thing. I hate Texas but the facts are that they are (were) a championship caliber team and Wilson was the closest thing they had to an ace. Granted, their biggest strengths may have been in other areas but give the man and his team their due. He would have been the Yanks’ #2 starter this season on our “championship caliber” team.

  • Hardy

    I think the concerns about his lack of track record are overblown. He has two years as an elite starter preceded by a year as a dominat reliever.
    Cliff Lee was absolutely nothing special as a starting pitcher before 2008 but his track record was not considered a problem in mid-2010 or during the last offseason.

  • Rookie

    I have no idea if Wilson would play in New York at ANY price. But absent injury, I think C.J. at anything less than $20 million per year and anything less than six years would be a great, great signing.

    Frankly, I think he’s just as likely as not to have a lower ERA — at least away from Texas’ home park — than CC, have a lower injury risk, and cost far, far less.

    And I love Darvish, too.

    • Ted Nelson

      If you’re willing to pay him “anything less than $20 mill”… he would not cost far less than CC. I also don’t know why you decided he has a lower injury risk than CC. His injury history is far more extensive than CC’s. Injuries to healthy players aren’t the easiest thing to predict.