Report: Angels have “serious” interest in C.J. Wilson

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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.”

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however, and this season the descent has continued. Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a rebuild is in the club’s future.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.