Angels GM on C.J. Wilson pursuit: 'You can't have enough pitching'
Sluggers such as Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are apparently out of their price range, but that doesn't mean the Angels, who outscored opponents by a slim 667-633 margin last season, can't improve their run differential in 2012.
That was part of the motivation Monday night for a three-hour dinner meeting between new General Manager Jerry Dipoto and the agent for pitcher C.J. Wilson, a veteran left-hander with a proven ability to suppress opposing offenses.
If the Angels are successful in their pursuit of Wilson, who has a 43-35 career record and 3.60 earned-run average in seven seasons, they would not only subtract the staff ace from their division rivals, the Texas Rangers. They would also have a formidable front four or Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana, which could rival Philadelphia for the best rotation in baseball.
"I don't know if you can ever have too much pitching," Dipoto said after meeting with agent Bob Garber at the Pfister Hotel, site of this week's GM and owners meetings. "It's a 162-game season. If you want to play 163 games and beyond, you've got to have a lot of pitching, because it runs out quick."
Dipoto said he is "intrigued" by the possibility of signing Wilson, a former Fountain Valley High standout who is considered the top pitcher on the free-agent market and could command a deal in the six-year, $100-million range. The Angels have serious interest in Wilson, and the feeling appears to be mutual.
"He's extremely interested in the Angels," Garber said of Wilson. "The meeting went well. We're going to spend some more time talking."
The Rangers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals have also expressed interest in Wilson, and Garber met with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo later Monday night.
Does Dipoto, who replaced the fired Tony Reagins in late October, feel he has a chance to sign Wilson?
"I hope so," Dipoto said. "It's his decision. He's put himself in this position by pitching extraordinarily well. I like our opportunity. It's a matter of whether he likes it as well as we do."
--Mike DiGiovanna in Milwaukee
Photo: Rangers ace C.J. Wilson works against the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. Credit: Carlos Osorio / Associated Press