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Thursday, October 13, 2011
J.D. thinks C.J. will like his market value

By Jeff Caplan

DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers front office doesn't delve into contract talks during the season to avoid distractions in the clubhouse, but that didn't stop C.J. Wilson's impending free agency to be a top question tossed at general manager Jon Daniels as he watched his team take batting practice before Game 5.

Daniels did venture a take on what Wilson's market will be this winter.

"Probably bigger than we would like and probably right about what he would like," Daniels said. "We're not even really spending too much time on that right now. Obviously, it's going to be a top priority for us."

Daniels clarified that his team has not spent time negotiating with Wilson and his agent, Bob Garber, but that they have "spent a lot of time talking about it and preparing for it. We just don't want it to be a distraction any more than it is naturally."

Wilson set career highs in his second season as a starter with 16 wins, 206 strikeouts, a 2.94 ERA and 223.1 innings pitched. He produced as the club's No. 1 in the rotation after Cliff Lee departed last winter as a free agent to Philadelphia.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan discussed Wilson's situation two days earlier and said the club will begin talks with Garber at the end of the season.

The left-hander has not a strong postseason so far, but he can turn that around with today's Game 5 start. A win and the Rangers clinch their second consecutive AL pennant and return to the World Series.