Well, the Miami Marlins made their splash in free agency by locking up shortstop Jose Reyes and closer Heath Bell, and now apparently the Washington Nationals are trying to do the same.
Reports have surfaced that the Nats have gone out on a limb and offered free agent lefty C.J. Wilson the six-year contract that no one else seems willing to give him. Wilson was originally asking for six years at around $100 million and that was so over the top that even the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were scared off. We can’t believe he actually got that offer from Washington, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the final number was around $90 million over those six years.
Wilson reportedly has five teams chasing after him, one of which is the Texas Rangers who he’s played his entire career with to this point. The Chicago Cubs are apparently also kicking the tires on Wilson, while the Marlins and Los Angeles Angels have also met with him.
The Marlins and Nationals appear to be the front-runners in this saga and the 31-year-old lefty will likely make a decision before the new year.
Wilson is considered one of the top free agent pitchers on the market this winter as he has had two very good seasons since converting to a starting role following five seasons in relief.
In his first full year as a starter in 2010, Wilson went 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 33 starts. He Allowed just 161 hits, 76 earned runs and 93 walks, while striking out 170 in 204 innings.
In 2011 he improved on those numbers, finishing 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 34 starts. He allowed 191 hits, 73 earned runs and 74 walks, while striking out 206 in 223.1 innings.
The Nationals are really trying to make a splash this offseason. They have ramped up their pursuit of Prince Fielder and Wilson and would love to land both to add to their already impressive group of young talent. We don’t think Wilson is worth anywhere near $100 million over six years, but the Nats are trying to make a statement that they plan to be big-time players for baseball’s best talent.
We’ll see if Wilson buys into that and heads east.