ARLINGTON -- Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine confirmed that he met with free-agent pitcher C.J. Wilson's agent, Bob Garber, on Tuesday night in Milwaukee. Levine and Matt Vinnola, the Rangers' director of baseball operations, are in Milwaukee for the General Managers Meetings. Texas continues to express interest in re-signing Wilson -- that's the impression the two left with Garber after the latest in a series of discussions they've had since the end of the season. "They showed significant interest in trying to bring C.J. back, and are willing to treat him as another other team would in the free-agent process," Garber told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "They're going to be more aggressive than I thought. I assumed they were going to sit on the back burner."
Garber also represents free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt, but the conversation on Tuesday was mainly about Wilson. "I think what Bob is doing at this point is getting an understanding of the landscape and the teams that are interested in C.J.," Levine said. "They're getting a lot of interest, and they're trying to narrow the list down." Wilson appears to be the most coveted starting pitcher on the market. Garber said he has not started receiving offers for Wilson, but told the Star-Telegram that he expects negotiations to get serious at the Winter Meetings in Dallas from Dec. 5-8. New Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and assistant Scott Servais also met with Garber. The Angels have made it clear that they would like to add a starting pitcher to their rotation, and Wilson is high on their list. "I believe the interest is reciprocated," Dipoto said. "I'm sure we're one of 30 interested in C.J. He's got a lot in front of him, and he's earned the right to play the field." Garber also reportedly met with both the Yankees and the Nationals while in Milwaukee this week. Yanks general manager Brian Cashman has called Wilson the top free-agent pitcher on the market and said he is interested in bringing him to New York. Wilson, who is currently in Japan on vacation, was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 34 starts over 223 innings for the Rangers this season. He finished sixth in the American League Cy Young balloting.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.