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.”

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.