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Rumor Mill: Tuesday morning

12/6/2011

What to make of this reported C.J. Wilson pursuit by the Angels?

On the one hand, we're told that the Angels' pursuit is "serious," and "aggressive." On the other hand, we're told of GM Jerry Dipoto's "hesitancy" to go beyond the five-year, $85 million contract Jered Weaver is now operating under. It seems like the Angels are keeping their hook in the water, hoping Wilson's camp is bluffing about a six-year offer on the table from a mystery team. Maybe if all his offers are close, Wilson will give the Angels a slight hometown discount to pitch near where he grew up.

Meanwhile, Dipoto offered a little clarity on his pursuit of relievers. He pretty much flatly denied Heath Bell's assertion that the Angels offered him a short-term contract. He also said he hasn't really explored signing closers. It looks like he's in the market for bargains, which makes sense given his reputation for being in deep with baseball analytics. Most statistical analysts view closers as the most overrated (and overpaid) commodity in baseball. The only problem with this path: What if Jordan Walden's late-season wobbles signal a crisis of confidence that spills into 2012? Is it wise to rely on him to get those final outs? Scott Downs doesn't seem like a long-term solution.

Prediction: The Angels' next move will be a trade, perhaps one in which they part with a utility guy -- say Maicer Izturis or Alberto Callaspo -- for a No. 4 or 5 starter or a veteran right-handed reliever.

As a rule, Tuesdays are the most frenetic at the winter meetings, so stay tuned.