DETROIT -- Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan wouldn't predict his club's chances of signing left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson, who becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2011 season. But Ryan knows that Wilson will be a hot commodity, and the club plans on talking to Wilson and his agent after the season.
"When you talk about free agents and you talk about a left-handed premier pitcher like C.J., you don't know who's going to get involved," Ryan said prior to Game 3 of the AL Championship Series on Tuesday. "You don't know what level it's going to go to. You don't know what C.J.'s desires are.
"We don't believe in negotiating during the season, so we have put that on hold until after we're through playing and we'll start talking to C.J. and his agent and see where they are and what their thoughts are. I have nothing to base any kind of prediction off of."
Wilson was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 223 1/3 innings this season. That came one season after he made the transition from the bullpen and won 15 games with a 3.35 ERA in 204 innings. Wilson and the Rangers agreed to a $7 million salary for 2011. He stands to make a whole lot more in free agency.
Ryan said the Rangers aren't worried about that now.
"We're totally focused on what we're doing in trying to get to the World Series and trying to win the World Series and so that's where our priority is," Ryan said. "We can't worry about those things until the appropriate time. You know there are going to be some clubs out there that have a lot of resources that are always looking for pitching and every ballclub in baseball is always looking for pitching. When you have someone of CJ's caliber going on the market, you know there's going to be challenges there."
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.