Published November 20, 2014
The Los Angeles Angels turned their own double play Thursday, adding free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson to a roster suddenly boosted by the acquisition of Albert Pujols.
New Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto announced the deals at baseball's winter meetings. Both are subject to the All-Stars passing physicals.
Wilson agreed to a five-year contract worth $77.5 million. Pujols got a $254 million, 10-year deal.
Dipoto called Wilson one of the "premier" pitchers in the game. The 31-year-old lefty was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA with Texas last season, helping the Rangers reach their second straight World Series.
Now, Wilson is joining the team that finished 10 games behind Texas in the AL West.
"I can't say that was a primary focus" to take Wilson away from a top division rival, Dipoto said.
Wilson also attracted interest from the Miami Marlins, who reached deals with All-Star free agents Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle in the last week.
The Rangers never seemed to make a formal offer and knew they weren't close to what the Angels and Marlins would offer.
"I don't see this as a punch, counter-punch thing," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "Our goal is to be as good as we can be within the parameters we have to work with."
"We've been there twice and have to find a way to win it. To do so, you have to get back there first. So we have to find a way to make the playoffs. That's our focus. We feel good about our club and where we're at, but clearly the division got a little tougher," he said.
Dipoto did not provide details on the deals for Wilson and Pujols. Two people familiar with the agreements disclosed the terms on condition of anonymity because the contracts were not yet completed.
Wilson went 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA over 67 starts in the past two regular seasons, making a smooth transition from the bullpen. He pitched exclusively in relief from 2006-09.
But he struggled in big games this year, probably costing himself millions in his new contract.
Wilson was winless in the 2011 postseason. He became the first pitcher in the same season to have a loss in the division series, championship series and World Series. He also was the losing pitcher in the All-Star game — the defeat cost the Rangers home-field advantage in the World Series, and they lost Game 7 at St. Louis.
The Angels went 86-76. They won the AL West from 2007-09 before Texas took over.
With the Rangers, Wilson was a No. 1 starter. He may not have that same role with the Angels, who have ace Jered Weaver (18-8, 2.41 ERA). Dan Haren (16-10, 3.17) and Ervin Santana (11-12, 3.28) also were in the rotation.