We learned earlier today that six teams have expressed interest in C.J. Wilson, but it appears one team in particular is making a strong early push.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and assistant general manager Scott Servais had dinner tonight with Wilson’s agent Bob Garber.
DiGiovanna cites “a source familiar with the team’s thinking” as saying the Angels have “serious” interest in the free agent left-hander.
Dipoto wasn’t shy after the meeting with Garber, telling ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, “Obviously we have interest, and we’re hoping C.J. feels the same way.”
Wilson, who hails from Southern California, has a 3.14 ERA since making the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation at the start of the 2010 season. He is widely regarded as the top starting pitcher available in free agency, despite his well-chronicled postseason struggles. According to DiGiovanna, the southpaw is expected to command a six-year contract in the range of $100 million.
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Wilson likes being liked. His agent Bob Garber tells Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that, “C.J. is extremely interested (in Angels). We’re going to talk some more.”
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.
Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.
Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.
Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.
According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.
Hinch’s full comments are below: