Former Santa Ana College great and current MLB pitcher C.J. Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5 million contract to throw for his hometown Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Wilson, who played for the Dons from 1999-2000, compiled an 8-2 record with a 3.75 ERA and 78 strikeouts in his second season at SAC.
The Texas Rangers drafted Wilson in the fifth round of the 2001 amateur draft out of Loyola Marymount University. He made his MLB debut in June 2005.
Wilson pitched strictly out of the bullpen for his first five seasons in Texas. In his first two seasons as a starting pitcher the Rangers made it to the World Series. Through seven seasons Wilson has only pitched 708 innings, a fairly light load for a 31-year-old ace-type starting pitcher. In comparison, Gavin Floyd, another first round pick of the 2001 amateur draft, has thrown 959 innings over eight big league seasons.
The Wilson signing went unnoticed because the Angels reeled in the biggest free agent fish of the offseason, Albert Pujols. Pujols signed a mega-contract, 10-years for $250 million. The Pujols signing, coupled with the Wilson signing makes the Angels an instant World Series contender and the team to beat in the AL West.
Pujols and Wilson add needed depth to an Angels team in search of help. Pujols can be placed into any lineup and succeed. Wilson will now pitch for a rotation that includes: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. The strength of the pitching staff will take pressure of Wilson, who was the Rangers’ ace last season.
Not only did the Angels sign the top free agent pitcher and hitter, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the works for a deal for All-Star point-guard Chris Paul.
The possible blockbuster three-team-deal, reported by SI.com, would have the Lakers sending forward Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets. The New Orleans Hornets would receive swingman Kevin Martin and center Luis Scola.
If the Lakers are able to complete the deal then Thursday Dec. 8, 2011, will go down in history as one of the greatest days for Southern California sports fan.
On a smaller note, the Los Angeles Clippers signed 31-year-old swingman Caron Butler to a three-year, $24 million deal.