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.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

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Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.