C.J. Wilson: Soon to be a very rich man.

I have spent many years as a Texas Rangers' fan, and there has always seemed to be one thing that the team was missing. Pitching. But over the past 2 years these Rangers have changed that perception. They've grown pitching in their farm system over the years, and it's finally paying off. Derek Holland has shown flashes of brilliance in his time in the big leagues, Matt Harrison seems to have finally figured everything out, Alexi Ogando has been nothing short of excellent since being moved from the bullpen, and Colby Lewis seems like a new man since coming back from Japan in 2010. But there is one man who has changed this entire pitching staff, C.J. Wilson.

During spring training in 2010 Wilson begged general manager Jon Daniels, team president Nolan Ryan, and manager Ron Washington to let him become a starting pitcher. They were timid at first because C.J. had become such a fixture in the Rangers' bullpen, but C.J. worked hard at it, and was given the opportunity to be a starting pitcher. Since then he has done nothing but dazzle everyone with his skills.

Wilson will be a free agent after this season, and he will undeniably be the best starting pitcher on the market, which means teams are going to be all over him. Should the Rangers go all in for C.J.? I say yes, but only under the right circumstances. In baseball there are maybe 10 aces in the entire league. C.J. is not in that category yet, but he is in the next tier of pitchers, such as Josh Beckett, Cole Hamels, and Matt Cain.

Since Wilson will be the top pitcher on the market things will be very favorable for him. Who knows how much money he could be offered by teams such as the Yankees or Angels, but how much is C.J actually worth? In my mind he is actually worth more to the Rangers than he is to any other team. It's difficult to find a pitcher that can pitch well in Arlington, and over the past two season he has started 34 games at The Rangers' Ballpark in Arlington. His record over those 34 games is 18-5. In 2010 he had the 2nd best opponents batting average against in the league at .217. He also doesn't mind pitching in the heat, so all of these things make Wilson a beautiful fit in Texas.

Now here are the circumstances on signing Wilson. Like I said he is not quite a so called ace, but he is an all star, so he should be paid like one. C.J. knows this is probably his last and only big contract, so he will probably get as much money as he can. He deserves money similar to the hometown discount that Jered Weaver just gave the Los Angeles Angels, a 5 year deal worth $85 million. As long as he asks for money somewhere in that vicinity the Rangers should go all in.

I definitely do not see Wilson asking for C.C. Sabathia money, which was 7 years $161 million, but I do see him asking for a 5 year $100 million deal. So then the Rangers are faced with a decision. Do they pay their home grown lefty, or do they let him possibly walk to a division rival like the Angels? Wilson has been the leader of this staff for the past 2 years, even when Cliff Lee was here. He is a mentor for all the other young pitchers, and he has only gotten better with every start. Let's say he finishes the season 17-7 with an ERA around 3.00, 220 innings pitched, and 200 strikeouts. I think I'd much rather have that guy on my team instead of having to face him 5 or 6 times per year.

Those numbers are definitely worth the money if you ask me. Not many pitchers put up those numbers, and the ones that do are getting paid the big bucks. So this offseason the Rangers are going to have a major decision on there hands. Do you take it or leave it? As long as he isn't asking for Sabathia money you sign him, because without him the Rangers are only a 2nd place team. So the first step to winning a few more division titles is to sign a top notch starter, and that man for the Texas Rangers is C.J. Wilson.

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