C.J. Wilson, Angels Reach 5-Year, $77.5 Million Deal

Former Texas Rangers hurler C.J. Wilson will be joining Albert Pujols in Los Angeles, as the Angels pulled off a shocker Thursday morning, signing the top pitcher on the free agent market and the top hitter on the market, all in a few hour time span.

“Last night was crazy,” Wilson told reporters following his signing. “It was like minute-by-minute.”

According to C.J.’s agent, Bob Garber, Wilson agreed to a five-year contract worth $77.5 million. In doing so, the craft left hander turned down a six-year contract – worth more money – from the Miami Marlins to pitch in his native Orange County, Calif.

“If it was about the money, I’d be a Marlin,” Wilson, whose deal with the Angels is contingent upon passing a physical, said. “It’s been a great time playing for the Texas organization for 11 years, and I love my teammates.

After going 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA for the last two seasons (stats that helped the Rangers to two consecutive world series appearances), the 31-year-old now joins a club that finished 10 games behind his former team in the AL West.

“I’d like to tell you that was a focus at all, but truly, our thought was, C.J. Wilson has been one of the premier starting pitchers in the American League over the last few years,” Jerry DiPoto, the Angels’ new general manager, said. “However that affects other teams is just how it affects other teams. I can’t say that that was a primary focus.”

In Anaheim, Wilson is set to join Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana to form arguably the best starting quartet in the American League.

“The idea of having the kind of pitching we already have and [improving] it is quite attractive,” Dipoto said. “I’m a believer in starters who throw a lot of innings, and if you can run out a quintet that gives you 1,000 innings [in a season], you’re in a good spot.”

Watch C.J. Wilson’s 2011 highlights in the clip below: