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C.J. Most Likely Coming Back For 2012 Season

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C.J. Most Likely Coming Back For 2012 Season

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ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: C.J. Wilson #36 of the Texas Rangers stands on the mound in the sixth inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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For a while, it seemed as though C.J. Wilson was almost certainly going to bolt this winter in free agency for someone back on the West Coast where he is from, maybe the Los Angeles Dodgers, or maybe the rival Los Angeles Angels.

That was a prevailing thought even before Wilson's disappointing postseason that saw him go 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in 28 innings. He had 26 strikeouts to go with 19 walks and gave up an inordinate amount of home runs compared his regular season.

And while it irked a lot of Rangers fans, and rightfully so, that Wilson underperformed in the playoffs, something does have to be said for his regular-season performance. And that was one of the best of any Rangers pitcher, ever.

Wilson posted a 2.94 ERA, the lowest since Nolan Ryan's in 1991. He was great on the road, and he was equally good at home in a ballpark that has been the death of so many starting pitchers before him.

Wilson is the best starting pitcher out there on the free-agent market with CC Sabathia re-upping with the Yankees and will get a huge payday very soon.

If gets into the $100 million range, the Rangers should stay put and search elsewhere because as great as Wilson has been the past two regular seasons, he's been equally as bad in October. But if it comes down to a 5-year deal for $80-90 million, don't be shocked if the Rangers make an offer and Wilson accepts.

Wilson won't be.

"The baseball angle here is very strong," Wilson told ESPNDallas. "Obviously, we're a good organization. We've proven we can win. We have guys on the team coming back. We have a lot of pieces that I think are complementary to me and vice-versa, so in that regard, that kind of speaks for itself. I like it here in that sense.

"They've treated me with a lot of respect the last two years as a starting pitcher and they've given me a chance to improve, given me a chance to solidify my role on the team as well as around the league as a premium starter. I feel like a lot of my success is because of the team that I've been playing on."

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