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11/21/11 7:57 PM EST

Angels court free-agent southpaw Wilson

GM Dipoto, manager Scioscia have dinner with hurler

ANAHEIM -- The courtship of C.J. Wilson, the most coveted of the free-agent starters, apparently is beginning in earnest.

Angels brass -- in the contrasting forms of general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia -- were reported to be breaking bread on Monday night in Los Angeles with the left-hander who served as Texas' ace this season.

"You never can have enough starting pitching," Scioscia said recently when asked about the possibility of pursuing Wilson, "but I really don't know where that is going. We'll see how it plays out. I'm sure there will be a lot of interest in him."

Scioscia said he wasn't in a position to calculate the level of the Angels' interest or how high they could afford to go. But the club does have some money left to spend -- somewhere between $10 million and $20 million for 2012, it appears -- and Wilson's Southern California roots run deep.

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It was assumed early in the recruiting process that Wilson would be seeking something along the lines of a five-year, $75 million deal after capably replacing Cliff Lee as the Rangers' No. 1 starter. Wilson, 31, earned $7 million as a first-time All-Star in 2011.

Joining Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Jerome Williams, Wilson would give the Angels a rotation comparable to any in the game. He also would provide some southpaw balance.

Wilson was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 34 starts, but the heavy workload -- 223 1/3 innings -- appeared to catch up with him in the postseason. Wilson struggled with his command as the Rangers came within a strike -- twice -- of winning a World Series ultimately seized by the amazing St. Louis Cardinals.

In six postseason appearances, five as a starter, Wilson was 0-3, yielding 18 earned runs in 28 innings for a 5.79 ERA.

A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Wilson attended Fountain Valley High School and Santa Ana College in Orange County before moving on to Loyola Marymount University. He was taken by Texas in the fifth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

A reliever for the Rangers for five seasons, Wilson moved into the rotation in 2010 and was an immediate success, going 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA in 33 starts.

Acquiring Wilson would reverse a recent trend of Texas drawing the benefits from former Angels such as Darren Oliver, Darren O'Day, Vladimir Guerrero and Mike Napoli.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.