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Nationals scouting impending free agent C.J. Wilson

Sep 21, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

C.J. Wilson

C.J. Wilson may be the most desirable starting pitcher on the free agent market this offseason and the Nationals will apparently be among the teams interested in the Rangers left-hander.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that “the Nationals have sent a scout to Oakland to watch” Wilson tonight against the A’s and “it’s not a secret that Washington is looking to add starting pitching.”

Wilson logged 204 innings with a 3.35 ERA after talking his way into Texas’ rotation last year and this season he’s upped his strikeouts and cut his walks while throwing 215 innings with a 2.98 ERA.

At age 31 he’s still relatively young for someone hitting the open market and among all pitchers with at least 50 starts since the beginning of last season Wilson ranks 16th in ERA (3.16), sandwiched between fellow southpaws CC Sabathia (3.10) and Jon Lester (3.20), and he’s also 19th in FIP.

Wilson added to the mix along with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann could give the Nationals a playoff-caliber front three of the rotation, but would it leave enough money to put together a playoff-caliber everything else?

  1. Panda Claus - Sep 21, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Wilson will be happy to hear this. Not because he necessarily wants to be a Nat next year, but because if Mike Rizzo gets in on the bidding the price will be driven up.

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 21, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    So, the Nats will be able to compete with the Yankees for CJ? Because if I’m Cashman (or, if Brian moves on, whoever inherits the checkbook of the Boss), CJ is at the top of my list to shore up the rotation between CC.

    Also, CJ is the perfect bridge between CC and AJ, phonetically speaking.

  3. natstowngreg - Sep 21, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Most unlikely Rizzo could compete for both Prince and CJ. As for bidding against the Yankees, the Nats tried that with Teixeira and came up short. If Cashman really, really wants Wilson, he probably can get him.

    As for other needs, a CF might still be obtained via trade. The Nats could start 2012 with:
    C – Ramos
    1B – LaRoche (if healthy, for one season)
    2B – Espinosa (or Lombardozzi)
    SS – Desmond (or Espinosa, if Desmond is needed to get a CF or SP)
    3B – Zimmerman (hopefully, signed to an extension)
    LF – Morse (eventually Harper, with Morse moving back to 1B)
    CF – TBD
    RF – Werth
    SP1 – Strasburg
    SP2 – Zimmermann
    SP3 – TBD
    SP4 – Lannan
    SP5 – Wang, Detwiler, Peacock, or Milone
    Setup – Clippard
    Closer – Storen (unless traded; see Desmond)

    Is ithis a playoff team? Can’t say, but it should continue the Nats’ progress toward contention.

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