C.J. Wilson Rumors
Despite adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last winter and enjoying a legendary rookie season from Mike Trout, the Angels will miss the playoffs for the third straight year. Here are a few notes from Anaheim as the Halos are already looking ahead to offseason business...
- Ervin Santana is prepared for the possibility of the Angels declining his 2013 option, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "It would be tough to not come back here because I've known my teammates for a long time, and we have a good relationship," Santana said. "At the same time, it might be time to move on and try different things...If that happens, it happens. I'm not worried about it." The Angels are reportedly planning to decline their club options on Santana ($13MM) and Dan Haren ($15.5MM) in order to free up resources for re-signing Zack Greinke.
- Wilson said his struggles in the second half of the season were caused by bone spurs in his elbow, reports Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. The southpaw said he will undergo minor surgery to repair the problem and doesn't anticipate any issues, noting that he had a similar operation in 2008.
- Both Chris Iannetta and GM Jerry Dipoto tell MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link) that they're interested in Iannetta being an Angel in 2013. Iannetta's $5MM option for 2013 became a mutual option once the catcher was traded from Colorado to Los Angeles last November. The Halos can buy out Iannetta's option for $250K.
- Also from Dipoto (via Gonzalez on Twitter), the Angels will be bringing back their entire coaching staff next season.
- The Vernon Wells trade has been made all the more disappointing by the fact that Mike Napoli has obliterated Angels' pitching since being dealt, writes Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan. Napoli has 12 homers and a whopping .396/.500/.829 slash line in 134 career plate appearances against his former club.
After dropping three straight, the Angels were especially glad to top the Yankees 7-1 yesterday in the Bronx. Here's a look at some items on the Halos as they face the Bombers again this evening..
- Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson nearly wound up signing with the Marlins, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Wilson's agent Bob Garber was moments away from accepting an offer from Miami unless the Angels went from a four-year deal to five. Halos GM Jerry Dipoto was preoccupied with the Albert Pujols negotiations but agreed to go to five years and hammer out the dollar figure later.
- Reliever Rich Thompson could be a good fit for the Yankees, writes Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues. The Angels designated the 27-year-old for assignment yesterday to create roster space for Brad Mills.
- Even with the addition of Pujols and the return of Kendrys Morales, the Angels have shown early tendencies that are likely to hamper the offense in the long term if not corrected, writes Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs for ESPN.com (Insider req'd).
The 5-2 Rangers send Matt Harrison to the mound in Minnesota tonight. Here are some Rangers-related notes...
- While GM Jon Daniels isn't wild about mid-season contract talks he told Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin of MLB Network Radio (audio link) that the club is still open to getting a new deal done with Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is also open to talking about a deal during the season.
- Hamilton has suggested to the Rangers that he should be paid like an elite player, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the outfielder will have to make some compromises on his next contract. The Rangers may seek contract language that protects them against drug or injury issues and probably wouldn't feel comfortable offering a nine or ten-year deal. Yesterday we asked readers about Hamilton’s next contract.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he's appreciative of C.J. Wilson's years with the Rangers, but doesn't want to discuss last offseason's contract negotiations publicly. Wilson said on The Dan Patrick Show that the Rangers "wasted" his time over the winter (audio here via sportsradiointerviews.com).
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Here's the latest out of Arlington...
- The Rangers are looking for a right-handed hitting bench bat who can play in the outfield, manager Ron Washington told reporters (including Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). The club just released a player who fits that description in Conor Jackson, and the Rangers could be interested in bringing him back on another minor league deal. If Texas does re-sign him, it would be after March 30, as then the team wouldn't have to pay Jackson a $100K bonus as a six-year veteran.
- Jackson, for his part, says he's willing to play in the minors for Texas if he can't find another job elsewhere. "I do enjoy this organization," Jackson said. "I'll consider all my options, including going to Triple-A and trying to be their right-handed option."
- Another veteran in the Rangers camp, Brad Hawpe, is not open to going to the minors, reports Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Hawpe wants to remain at the Major League level and feels he is still capable of performing in the big leagues. Hawpe is another potential release candidate given that he is also in line for a $100K bonus, he has been unable to throw from the outfield due to his shoulder problems and the Rangers seem set for left-handed hitters.
- C.J. Wilson tells Gil Lebreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers approached him about a three-year extension during last year's Spring Training but that was the only formal offer the team made to retain him. While Wilson was disappointed the Rangers didn't make much of an effort to re-sign him last winter, he understands why the team decided to move on to signing Yu Darvish and extending Derek Holland.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan doesn't think the Rangers will sign Josh Hamilton, Colby Lewis or Mike Napoli to contract extensions before Opening Day. All three players are entering the last year of their contracts with the team.
Between the Angels' big signings, the Rangers winning the Yu Darvish bidding, the Athletics' rebuilding, the Mariners' dabbling in the Prince Fielder derby and even the news that the Astros are coming in 2013, no division has generated more news than the AL West this offseason. Here's the latest...
- Albert Pujols will earn base salaries of $12MM in 2012 and $16MM in 2013, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Pujols' 10-year, $254MM contract with the Angels was backloaded so the Halos could afford to sign C.J. Wilson. As a result, Pujols will receive more than $30MM per year in the latter years of his deal. The contract's total value could be worth as much as $265MM should Pujols reach various incentive and milestone bonuses.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com names the contract between Pujols and the Angels as the transaction of the year. The trade that sent Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski to St. Louis for Colby Rasmus gets an honorable mention, as does the Tigers' trade for Doug Fister and the Phillies' trade for Hunter Pence.
- Athletics right-hander Grant Balfour is receiving trade interest, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Australian has a 2.85 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 243 innings over the last four seasons and, if he remains with the A's, is a candidate to replace Andrew Bailey as Oakland's closer in 2012.
- The Rangers have re-signed Matt Kata to a minor league deal, reports Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The infielder spent last year with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, posting an .832 OPS in 447 plate appearances. Kata has a career line of .239/.290/.370 in parts of five Major League seasons and last appeared in the majors with the Astros in 2009.
MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post
Fifteen years ago today, the Astros and Tigers swung a nine-player trade. Houston received Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski, and Daryle Ward while Detroit imported Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, and Orlando Miller. It's not often you see a club turnover 20% of its roster in a single deal. Here are some evening links...
- Albert Pujols' new ten-year contract with the Angels will keep him with the team for another ten years after it expires. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports (on Twitter) that the deal will keep him on board as a consultant to owner Arte Moreno for a decade after his playing days are over.
- In a second tweet, Gonzalez heard from C.J. Wilson that not only did the Marlins offer him a sixth guaranteed year, but they also offered him an option for a seventh year as well.
- Even after signing Rafael Furcal to a two-year, $14MM contract, Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter) that the Cardinals remain in contact with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran could step in at right field and help replace some of the offense lost when Pujols left.
- "I haven't talked to anyone," said non-tender candidate and Orioles right-hander Brad Bergesen to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, indicating that he doesn't know what will happen before Monday's deadline to tender contracts to players with less than six years of service time. "I have no idea. I don't know what the plan is. I don't know how they view me or if I fit in their plans. All I can do is prepare myself and be ready for whatever comes my way."
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy reports that the Diamondbacks have signed former Astros outfielder Jason Lane as a left-handed pitcher. The 34-year-old hasn't appeared in the big leagues since 2007, but he made the move to the mound this past season. Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Journal-Review chronicled the conversion back in August.
Let's round up a few Winter Meetings leftovers...
- C.J. Wilson was a little disappointed the Rangers didn't try to make more of an effort to re-sign him, writes Richard Durrett of ESPN.com. The Yankees also passed on a final opportunity to get involved on Wilson, tweets Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.
- Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com has a rundown of comments made this morning by Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on Kelly Johnson, Yu Darvish, and potential areas of need.
- John Manuel of Baseball America shares some thoughts and quotes relating to this morning's Rule 5 draft.
- The Nationals didn't make any major moves at the Winter Meetings, but GM Mike Rizzo says they're still "open for business," as MLB.com's Bill Ladson writes.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols is a wake-up call for the Mariners. Several Cardinals players were surprised by Pujols' decision, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. For more reactions and fallout on Pujols, click here.
- The Rays and Mets could be among the suitors for Ivan Rodriguez, who is working out in Miami, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
- The Rockies are expected to sign Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan thinks the Angels and Marlins might regret spending so aggressively this offseason.
With $191MM committed to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, Marlins fans can't complain about their offseason so far. Only one of the 5,020 entrants in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest, Matthew Lazear, correctly guessed in November that the Marlins would sign all three. However, it's interesting to note that the Marlins also made the highest bids on top free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, who ultimately went to the Angels today.
Pujols received ten years and $254MM from the Angels, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Marlins offered ten years and $275MM. That would have tied Alex Rodriguez for the largest contract guarantee in baseball history. Nightengale says that with incentives and Florida's lack of a state income tax, the deal could have been worth nearly $300MM.
Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5MM deal with the Halos, but agent Bob Garber told Ken Rosenthal Wilson could "easily" have gotten $100MM, and the Marlins "would not let it go." Said Wilson: "But if it were just about money I'd be a Marlin, straight up, because they offered more money, they have a great situation."
The Marlins reportedly stuck to their policy of not including a no-trade clause for either player, which may have been a factor in their decisions.
Lefty C.J. Wilson will join Albert Pujols in Los Angeles, as the Angels continue a surprising free agent spending spree. The Halos completed a deal with Wilson today, learned Joel Sherman of the New York Post. It's a five-year, $77.5MM contract, according to ESPN's Karl Ravech, bringing the Angels' tally to $331.5MM on the last day of the 2011 Winter Meetings. The contract includes a full no-trade clause in the first two years and partial in the last three, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Wilson is represented by Bob Garber of Select Sports Group.
Wilson, a 31-year-old Fountain Valley, California native, will earn $10MM in 2012, $11MM in '13, $16MM in '14, $18MM in '15, and $20MM in '16, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas (via Twitter). The remaining $2.5MM makes up the southpaw's signing bonus.
Wilson posted a 2.94 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.64 HR/9, and 49.3% groundball rate in 223 1/3 innings this year. He added another 28 innings in the postseason. Including the playoffs, Wilson has tallied a massive 479 2/3 innings over 76 starts since being converted back to a starter in 2010. Aside from perhaps the recently-posted Yu Darvish, Wilson was the best available pitcher this offseason. Wilson, who has a popular Twitter page, joins a stellar Angels rotation that includes Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, and Ervin Santana. Weaver had signed a five-year, $85MM extension in August, and it seemed like the Angels couldn't justify giving Wilson more.
The Rangers reportedly topped out at four years in their bid to retain Wilson, though they never made a formal offer and according to the player, weren't close. The Rangers will receive the Angels' second-round draft pick and a supplemental choice as compensation. GM Jon Daniels appears to already be exploring alternatives such as Darvish and Matt Garza. The Marlins were heavily in the mix for Wilson, reportedly making the best offer at $98-99MM over six years. In fact, Garber said the Marlins "would not let it go" and Wilson could easily have gotten $100MM.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
We heard late last night that there is "no shot" Albert Pujols will make a decision before the Winter Meetings end. Still, here's the latest on the man who has $200MM+ offers from three teams including the Cardinals, Angels, and a mystery team who would reportedly need to trade an established first baseman to clear a path for the three-time MVP:
- The Angels want both Pujols and C.J. Wilson, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Angels have offered Pujols a ten-year deal worth at least $210MM and Wilson a five-year deal worth more than $70MM, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Yankees are not the mystery team that's trying to set up a Pujols deal (Twitter link). That makes sense, given that Mark Teixeira has a full no-trade clause in his contract.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.