Rangers brace for C.J. Wilson's exit

Updated: December 8, 2011, 9:59 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Texas Rangers general Jon Daniels said early Wednesday evening that the club hadn't met with C.J. Wilson's agent, Bob Garber, since a Tuesday night chat, and that nothing was scheduled. He added that the club would meet if Garber called.

"I haven't received a call to say he's chosen to go elsewhere, but we're prepared for that call," Daniels said.

Daniels said the market for Wilson is about where the Rangers figured it would go and that "C.J.'s got some good options."

It's clear the Rangers are preparing for free agent Wilson's departure. Asked about what possible draft picks the club would receive as compensation, Daniels said he'd actually prefer a second-round pick from the Marlins than a first-round pick from the Angels so that Wilson isn't still in the AL West.

"I'd prefer he's still here," Daniels said. "I'm also a realist."

It appears that Wilson's final decision is down to the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Angels. Reports surfaced that the Marlins have offered a six-year deal, while the Angels are still at five years. If the Angels don't come up with a sixth year, Wilson, a California native, may be deciding if he should pitch in California and stay in the AL West or head to Miami with a longer deal in the National League, where he can hit.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Wilson said he had not made a decision on where to sign.

He said "no decision" in a text about what he might do and when asked if it was a difficult call, responded: "very."

Wilson was converted from the bullpen to the rotation prior to the 2010 season. He's showed an ability to be durable -- he's pitched more than 200 innings and made at least 33 starts in each season -- and won 31 games. Wilson led the Rangers' staff with a 2.94 ERA as its No. 1 starter in 2011. He struggled in the postseason, going 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in five starts as the Rangers lost to the Cardinals in seven games in the World Series.

Wilson is one of the top free-agent pitchers on the market and met with officials from the Angels and Marlins even before the winter meetings.

Daniels said the Rangers didn't make the half-hour drive to the Hilton Anatole with any expectations to sign or trade for a top starting pitcher this week.

"Part of the reason we made the move with [Joe] Nathan and [Neftali] Feliz [to the rotation] is that we know how hard it is to find that type of guy," Daniels said. "So we never set any expectation that we were definitely going to add one, certainly not the expectation was if it happened, it would be this week. We never ruled that out. But you can make player moves 365 [days a year]."

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

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