Angels add C.J. Wilson to winter meetings haul
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A monumental day that began with the acquisition of Albert Pujols got even better Thursday for the Angels, who, according to Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, have agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher C.J. Wilson on a five-year deal for about $77.5 million.
[Updated at 8:43 a.m. Dec. 8] Wilson reportedly told his old team, the Texas Rangers, Thursday morning that he would be signing with the Angels. The move could transform a superb rotation into one that rivals those in Philadelphia and San Francisco for the best in baseball.
The addition of Wilson to a staff led by right-handers Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana could give the Angels as formidable a front four as the Phillies’ Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Vance Worley, and the Giants’ Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgardner and Ryan Vogelsong.
The signing of Wilson would put a huge dent in the team’s American League West rivals, subtracting the ace from the Texas Rangers’ staff, and combined with the acquisition of Pujols, the game’s most feared slugger, it would make the Angels the favorite to reclaim the American League West title.
‘I think the AL West just got a lot better,’ Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. ‘A team in the division we have a ton of respect for just got a lot better. A three-peat [for the Rangers] just got a whole lot tougher.’
Pujols led the St. Louis Cardinals to a seven-game victory over the Rangers in the World Series in October.
‘We saw him for seven games, and I’m not sure we figured him out -- we have some work to do,’ Levine said. ‘He’s a tremendous player, a game-changer. Every time he comes up, he causes concern and fear in the opponent.’
The hard-throwing Wilson, 31, went 16-7 with 2.94 earned-run average and 206 strikeouts in 2011 and 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 2010 to lead the Rangers to the World Series.
The biggest knock on Wilson, who pitched at Fountain Valley High School, Santa Ana College and Loyola Marymount, is that he hasn’t pitched to his capabilities in the postseason.
In 10 playoff games, nine of them starts, Wilson is 1-5 with a 4.82 ERA, allowing 46 hits, including 10 home runs, striking out 43 and walking 29 in 52 1/3 innings.
But Wilson is just the kind of ingredient the Angels, who reached the playoffs six times from 2002-09, believe they need to end their two-year postseason drought.
-- Mike DiGiovanna in Dallas
Photo: C.J. Wilson. Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier / MCT.