Tuesday, March 29, 2011
C.J. Wilson: Didn't 'bite at the first offer'
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pitcher C.J. Wilson said Tuesday that the Texas Rangers made him a long-term contract offer a few weeks ago, but that it's too late in the process to get anything done before Opening Day.
"They did eventually make an offer," Wilson said during an appearance on the Ben & Skin Show on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. "But it didn't really make any sense for me to bite at the first offer. I was like, 'Well, maybe if you guys would have made that offer in January we would have had time to work it out.' It will take a little longer than two or three days or a week."
Wilson has said this spring that he doesn't want any contract talks distracting from his preparation and the team's goals this season. But he added Tuesday that it doesn't mean his agent might not talk with the team at some point. Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said the club doesn't want to distract from anything, either, but is open to talking with Wilson's agent during the season.
Wilson, who is making $7 million in 2011 just one season removed from joining the starting rotation, will be a free agent at the end of the season. Wilson was 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA in 33 starts (204 innings) in 2011. He had 170 strikeouts and 93 walks and heads into 2011 as the No. 1 starter on the staff. He'll toe the rubber for Opening Day on Friday.
"We have a good relationship with his agent and we've had productive dialogue," said Levine, who happened to sit by Wilson on a flight from Phoenix to Dallas on Monday afternoon. "We certainly don't feel it's dead in the water."
Levine said the team typically doesn't complete many long-term deals during the season, but added that this was an unusual case in that Wilson will become a free agent at the end of the season.
"Things were trying to come together too late for it to really get worked out," Wilson said. "A multi-year contract is a very complicated scenario."