Richard Durrett has a blog post up at the ESPN Dallas site that talks about C.J. Wilson and other free agents that the Rangers could have some interest in.
One portion in particular jumped out at me:
It's clear the Rangers are preparing for life without Wilson. GM Jon Daniels said Tuesday that the club is still interested, but they acknowledge he is exploring a market that isn't flush with starting pitching. He's going to get a well-deserved raise and the Rangers will have to decide if they can afford it.
Let's be clear here...the Rangers' payroll is likely to be in the $110-120 million range in 2012. Whether he signs for 5 years, $80-85 million, as people like Jon Heyman have projected, or the 6 year, $105 million figure that I've predicted, the Rangers can afford that.
At the same time, I can afford to pay someone $20 every day to come to my house and wash my car. But that doesn't mean that it is a good idea to do so.
The Rangers appear prepared to let C.J. Wilson walk. He's going to get a five or six year deal, and the Rangers don't want to go beyond four years. That's fine. I do find it a bit distasteful that the team seems to be spinning C.J.'s postseason struggles as a basis for not paying him...I'd be very surprised if what happened this postseason had any material impact on what the Rangers were willing to pay C.J. to stay in Texas. But it seems like the decision has been made to use this as a justification to the fans to let him go.
But regardless, if the Rangers want to keep C.J. Wilson, they can afford him. And I'm sure they'd like to have him, just like I'd like someone to come to my house every day and wash my car.
But I have other things I'd rather do with my money, that I feel like would give me more value. Same with the Rangers, who've apparently decided the $17-18 million per year they'd be paying Wilson can be better allocated elsewhere. I don't necessarily think they're wrong, either.
But I do think we need to be clear that Wilson isn't leaving because we're a small-market team that can't afford to keep him. Wilson is leaving because the Rangers have made the decision they don't want to pay him.