The Washington Nationals are going to make a push for free-agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman.
The Nationals would like to add a left-handed starting pitcher to compliment Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann at the top of their rotation, and Wilson is their top target, Heyman reports. The Nationals currently have John Lannan, Ross Detwiler, and Tom Milone as potential left-handed starting pitchers in their system; however Wilson provides a significant step up from their current back-of-the-rotation options.
Wilson is coming off his second consecutive 15-win season for the Texas Rangers. In 2010 he posted a 15-8 record with a 3.35 ERA, in 2011 he improved to 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA. The former reliever is widely considered to be the top free-agent starter available this winter. Some, however, view the All-Star pitcher as a risk due to his generally short track record as a starting pitcher and his age. Wilson was a reliever for the Rangers from 2005-2009.
The Nationals, who finished 2011 with an 80-81 record, have let it be known that their goal is to compete in 2012. The club has also been rumored to free-agent starting pitchers Roy Oswalt (right-handed) and Mark Buehrle (left-handed), as well as All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder.