Various media outlets are reporting that the Miami Marlins have offered C.J. Wilson a contract for six years, a barrier that the Rangers are not willing to break for the free-agent left-hander.
Team president Nolan Ryan has never been in favor of anything beyond five years for a starting pitcher, and he's queasy with that many years. Yes, that includes for Cliff Lee last year.
Wilson said on Tuesday that the most lucrative offer won't necessarily be the one that wins him over. The Marlins gave him the A-list treatment last week during his visit to Miami, and the addition of shortstop Jose Reyes and move of Hanley Ramirez to third base could give the Marlins the strong left side of the infield that Wilson wants on his next team.
But he has also maintained that he wants to return to the Rangers, who might have the best third baseman/shortstop combo in the game. He feels his job is undone after the Rangers fell short in the past two World Series. He also loves his teammates and has strong ties to the community.
But the window for a hometown discount has passed. If Wilson selects the Rangers' offer of five years, it will be because he feels they offer the best situation for the remainder of his career.
The Rangers, meanwhile, met with Mark Buehrle's agent Tuesday night, but his market has also taken off. Roy Oswalt is said to want a three-year deal, and the Rangers have concerns about going that long on a pitcher with a bad back.
Neftali Feliz and the four returning starters to the rotation from 2011 could very well be the group the Rangers take to spring training in February.
-- Jeff Wilson