The Rangers are looking to discuss a contract extension with left-hander C.J. Wilson in the coming weeks, reports FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi. Wilson, 30, avoided arbitration with Texas by agreeing to a one-year, $7MM pact last month and will be a free agent after the 2011 season.
Wilson was drafted as a starting pitcher in 2001, but made just six Major League starts in his 2005 rookie season before being converted to a reliever. He pitched well enough out of the bullpen that the Rangers stretched him out and gave him a rotation spot last spring, and Wilson delivered in spades. Wilson posted a 3.35 ERA and a 1.83 K/BB ratio, though he also allowed a league-leading 93 walks. With Cliff Lee once again a Phillie, Wilson is ostensibly the ace of the Texas staff.
In addition to Wilson, Rangers GM Jon Daniels says the team is also looking at signing other "core players" to multiyear deals. Daniels didn't name names, but Morosi cites Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz as extension candidates. Andrus will be arbitration-eligible for the first time next winter, while Feliz is just finishing his first full season in the majors.
Feliz, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, could have more in common with Wilson than just a contract extension. The Rangers plan to try Feliz out as a starter this spring, so if the transition goes smoothly, Texas could save itself a lot of future arbitration dollars on a future ace by locking Feliz up right now.