C.J. Wilson

UPDATE: C.J. Wilson likely to take five-year deal from Angels

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10:28 p.m. EST update: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says Wilson is expected to accept a five-year deal from the Angels. The Marlins offered six years, but the left-hander has apparently chosen to return to his native southern California instead.

10:05 p.m. EST update: C.J. Wilson has arrived at the winter meetings in Dallas and is expected to meet with both the Marlins and Angels before the night is out.

7:50 p.m. EST update: Mr. Ken Rosenthal begs to differ. His source is reporting that the Marlins are the “best bet” for Wilson, while the Angels are a close second. The Rangers appear to have fallen out of the mix.

It’s been reported all day that the Marlins are at six years with Wilson, while the belief is that the Angels only want to go five. Wilson, however, is a California native and may choose the Angels’ offer anyway.

6:40 p.m. EST update: The Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch reports that Wilson and the Angels are very close to finalizing a deal. No additional information was provided, but the Angels are believed to be at five years, rather than six. It could be in the same neighborhood as the five-year, $82.5 million contracts given to A.J. Burnett and John Lackey by the Yankees and Red Sox, respectively.

5:10 p.m. EST update: The Marlins’ signing of Mark Buehrle doesn’t necessarily take them out of the mix for Wilson. Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins are still involved in the bidding. Many others, however, believe that Wilson is quite a bit more likely to head to Anaheim.

4:05 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi states that the Nationals are out on Wilson. The Rangers still seem to be in the mix, but it looks like the Marlins and Angels will be the higher bidders.

3:20 p.m. EST update: The Marlins have upped their offer to Wilson to six years, according to MLB Network’s Tom Verducci. However, Danny Knobler still labels the Angels as the clear favorites for the left-hander, who is believed to be seeking more than $15 million per year. A decision isn’t expected before late tonight, according to Knobler.

12:20 p.m. EST update: Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A.Times states that the Angels are “still very much a favorite” to sign Wilson and that they’re not one of the five teams in contention for Mark Buehrle.

12:15 p.m. EST update: A source tells ESPN’s Karl Ravech that the Marlins have gone to six years in their offer for Wilson. There’s good reason for skepticism about this one, though, as the Marlins are still waiting to see what Albert Pujols is going to do.

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MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Angels have stepped up their efforts to sign C.J. Wilson and are hoping to get a deal done today.

If signed, Wilson would join Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana in what could be the AL’s best rotation. Of course, that alone might not allow the Angels to overtake the Rangers. The Angels finished with the AL’s best ERA last season, yet were 10th in the league in runs scored and ended up a full 10 games behind Texas at 86-76.

If the Angels do want to upgrade their offense, we learned last night that they’re receiving calls on Santana.

Wilson went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA for Texas last season. He finished seventh in the AL in ERA and sixth with 206 strikeouts.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.