C.J. Wilson is polarizing. We've discussed this time and time again over the last few months.
His act can wear thin sometimes, both with Rangers fans and probably his own teammates.
But the guy has produced over the past two seasons since moving to the starting rotation prior to the 2010 season and he's been a key factor in the Rangers winning two straight AL pennants.
Now, he'll take that talent to the West Coast where he'll pitch for his hometown Los Angeles Angels, who also happen to be the Rangers' biggest rivals in the AL West.
In two seasons as a Rangers starter, Wilson compiled a 31-15 record. Last season, he posted a 2.94 ERA while pitching in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in all of baseball, and doing so in one of the hottest summers ever on record.
So yeah, he's pretty good.
He was also awful in the postseason. Like horrifically bad. And Rangers fans will not forget about, rightfully so. He's now 1-5 in his career in the postseason with a 4.82 ERA. That's not good. In the World Series, he's 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA. That's pretty good. He's made nine postseason starts, which is a decent, but not great, sample size.
He's awful, right? No way a guy that does that can be considered ace material, right?
Let's take a glance at Justin Verlander's postseason stats, keeping in mind he won the AL Cy Young AND the AL MVP this season.
In his career, Verlander has eight postseason starts with a 5.57 ERA, nearly a full run worse than C.J. Wilson's ERA.
So when the Angels signed Wilson to a 5-year, $77.5 million deal on Thursday, it was hard to look at it without feeling the Angels got a bargain for a guy that has done what Wilson has done over the past two seasons, is 31 years old and is maybe the most well-conditioned pitcher in the game.
Is his head a little too big for his britches sometimes? Absolutely. But the guy gets results, and now he'll be getting results for the Rangers biggest rival.
The Rangers reportedly offered 4 years for $60 million. You'd hope the Rangers would have at least strongly considered adding a year and another $15 or so million to the offer, but the reports are they didn't. Wilson said himself that the Rangers weren't there in years or in cash.
If Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan & Co. felt Wilson wasn't worth the five years, that's fine. They've earned the benefit of the doubt in trust with the moves they've made in recent years.
But they need to have some sort of plan in place because Neftali Feliz is unproven, and he's not going to be an ace this year. That means they are either going to try to trade for John Danks, Matt Garza, Gio Gonzalez or possibly James Shields, all of which would take a major package of prospects. But the more likely scenario is they'll bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese import Yu Darvish, who comes with much buzz but no skins on the MLB wall.
Rangers fans and brass had pretty much come to grips with the fact that Wilson would be gone shortly after the World Series ended and seemed to be fine with it, well they got what they wanted. Let's see how it plays out.