Thursday morning, shortly after signing the second-greatest first baseman in major-league history, the Los Angeles Angels have reportedly signed free-agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson for five years and $77.5 million.
And you thought the Miami F. Marlins were going to completely dominate this year's Winter Meetings.
Wednesday evening in Dallas, Wilson arrived at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas -- site of this year's Winter Meetings -- and within hours we knew he was deciding between offers from the Angels and the Marlins. And Thursday morning, we had puffs of white smoke: Christopher John Wilson -- @str8edgeracer to his biggest fans -- will ply his trade next season for the Angels. And quite likely, for the next five seasons.
The early buzz is that Wilson's deal is exceptionally team-friendly, and he's certainly been worth more than $15 million in each of the last two seasons. But it's worth remembering that Wilson is not overly proven; just a year younger than Mark Buehrle, Wilson's got 43 wins in the major leagues next to Buehrle's 161. We know C.J. Wilson can pitch brilliantly; we don't know if he can pitch brilliantly for four or five or six years in a row. Still, this does seem like a fine deal for his new club.
Wilson reportedly had a six-year offer from the Marlins, but the lure of pitching where he grew up -- Wilson was born in Orange County, nearly 32 years ago -- might have played a part in his decision. Tuesday in his Winter Meetings press conference, Angels manager Mike Scioscia made it clear what his club's priority was this winter. Asked if he would prefer a power hitter or a pitcher, Scioscia said, "We need to get stronger pitching."
Now, with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson, the Angels have the best 1-2-3 starters in the American League. They've just gotten significantly better ... and at the exact same moment, made their top competition in the American League West significantly worse.