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Angels' C.J. Wilson to have season-ending surgery on left elbow

Angels' C.J. Wilson to have season-ending surgery on left elbow
Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson sits in the dugout during the third inning of a game against the Diamondbacks on June 18, 2015.. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The Angels rotation is deep enough to absorb the loss of C.J. Wilson, who informed the team Thursday that he will undergo surgery to shave down bone spurs in his elbow, a procedure that will sideline the left-hander for the rest of this season but is not expected to affect his availability for 2016.

However, the surgery probably will prevent the Angels from trading Wilson until next spring or early next season, after he shows he is fully recovered and has regained the form that made him durable and relatively dependable for the last five years.

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Wilson is guaranteed $20 million in 2016, the final year of his five-year, $77.5-million deal. But with Jered Weaver under contract for one more year, four capable starters in Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker and Andrew Heaney, left-hander Tyler Skaggs returning from Tommy John surgery and Nick Tropeano at triple A, Wilson is expendable.

The Angels discussed Wilson in trade talks this summer, and with possible vacancies at third base, second, catcher, left field and designated hitter next season, they could use the savings from Wilson's contract to pursue offensive help this winter.

Wilson turns 35 in November but still has value. He went 8-8 with a 3.89 earned-run average in 132 innings over 21 starts this season despite pitching with bone spurs and having fluid drained from his elbow four times.

His range of motion decreased and the discomfort increased to the point where he was placed on the disabled list July 31. Wilson opted for surgery after seeking a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic.

"I think everyone feels this is the best course of action for him," Manager Mike Scioscia said.

Wilson briefly considered delaying the surgery, resting his arm and pitching out of the bullpen in September, but Scioscia said the Angels did not pressure him.

"That was an option. Did we talk to him about it? No," Scioscia said. "This has been his decision and the medical staff's decision the whole way."

Wilson underwent similar elbow cleanup surgeries after 2008 and 2012 and bounced back both times, pitching to a 2.81 ERA in 74 relief outings for Texas in 2009 and going 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 33 starts for the Angels in 2013.

"The timetable we've been given," Scioscia said, "is he should be ready for spring training."

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