Offseason Speculation: What If Texas Brought Back C.J. Wilson?

Hey everyone. Welcome to the offseason. 

- In an effort to exercise due diligence, the Rangers are currently in the process of interviewing a bunch of manager candidates before arriving where they left off, by hiring Tim Bogar. Texas granted the Arizona Diamondbacks permission to interview Bogar for their own managing vacancy, but I assume we're only a matter of days from the inevitable "Tim Bogar has taken his name out of the running" tweets and headlines from various D-FW news publications. 

Bogar is a solid manager prospect with pedigree working under some of baseball's best in that department, but his September results with the Rangers are what will speak loudest in this scenario. He inherited the worst team in baseball and got them to buy in with no motivation of making the postseason. Further, when he was hired as bench coach there was a thought he would be Washington's eventual successor anyway -- though not under these circumstances -- and the fact he's had prior relations with both Mike Maddux and Dave Magadan helps with continuity. 

- On Monday, the Rangers announced they have outrighted Pedro Figueroa, Wilmer Font, J.P. Arencibia, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Engel Beltre and Guilder Rodriguez to Triple-A Round Rock. They also tried to sneak LHP Joseph Ortiz though waivers, but he was deftly claimed by the Cubs and has been placed on their 40-man roster. 

The Rangers are down to 37 players on their 40-man, but that number will continue to be trimmed in coming weeks, as Texas needs to protect guys like Luke Jackson and Jorge Alfaro from being selected in the Rule-5 draft. 

- Can we please sit back and applaud the Royals for single-handedly exterminating the Oakland A's and Anaheim Angels from the postseason? The Athletics mortgaged their future by trading their top two prospects -- Addison Russell and Billy McKinney -- to acquire Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs, and shipped Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox for Jon Lester. Sans Lester and a deep playoff run, they are back to the drawing board this winter. 

The Angels, meanwhile, signed all of Albert Pujols (10 years, $242 million), C.J. Wilson (5 years, $75 million) and Josh Hamilton (5 years, $125 million); as those players continue to age, and as their subsequent backloaded contracts continue to escalate, all it would take to validate those moves is one World Series ring. Based on the mostly nonexistent state of their farm system, there's a reasonable case to be made that the Angels won't have a better shot at winning the whole thing than they had this year, what with the best record in the American League and home-field advantage on their side. 

- Just for argument's sake, although I'm not necessarily in support of the idea, I offer this question:

How much of the $38 million C.J. Wilson is owed over the next two seasons would the Angels need to eat for you to be interested in bringing him back to Texas?

For disclaimer purposes, I acknowledge that bridge has probably been burned; the Rangers are very likely as over C.J. Wilson as C.J. Wilson is over the Rangers. But that's why this is for argument's sake. Texas is in the market for a #3 starting pitcher this offseason -- odds are, via trade -- and given Wilson's impressive 2010 and '11 campaigns under the tutelage of Mike Maddux (+4.3 and +5.4 fWAR, respectively), he would certainly fit that bill. 

On Sunday night, Mike Scioscia yanked Wilson after he allowed a first inning three-run double to Alex Gordon, a decision that felt, at least at the time, more symbolic than anything else. It could have just been a hiccup in the Win Or Go Home mentality that drives postseason elimination games. It could have been a defense mechanism to protect the Angels from Wilson's poor pitching down the stretch of the season. 

But as baseball gets played between the lines, sometimes it forces us to read between them. This is one of those times. 

Listen, I understand the fan base still holds a grudge against Wilson, because let's face it: Dude is incredibly arrogant, and he says a lot of shit people don't like. Like Ian Kinsler, C.J. was overly dissatisfied that Texas didn't want him anymore, a natural response from a talented, ego-driven athlete. 

If we take emotion out of this, though, and pretend Wilson is just John Doe #3 starting pitcher, how much money would it take for you to want him back? Keep in mind the Rangers are dealing with a limited budget this winter -- reportedly in the $20 million range -- and wouldn't even consider the idea if the Angels didn't wet their appetite (if at all). I mentioned on Twitter that I'd take him back if LAA paid half of his remaining salary -- $19 million -- meaning Texas would be responsible for $19 million over 2015 and '16. That equates to $9.5 million AAV, below market for what most #3 starter go for in free agency. 

It's a stupid thought, I know. But when you think about it, it's not that stupid.