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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 12/08/2011

C.J. Wilson joins Albert Pujols with Angels

The Miami Marlins made the early headlines at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings, but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have officially stolen the show.

On the same morning they landed free agent first baseman Albert Pujols with a 10-year, $250 million contract offer, the Angels snatched up one of the top starting pitchers on the market in lefty C.J. Wilson.

According to Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, Wilson’s deal is worth about $77.5 million over five years , as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

After helping the Texas Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances, the 31-year-old reportedly told his former team that he planned to sign with its American League West rivals on Thursday morning.

The additions of Pujols and Wilson immediately make the Angels the front-runner in the West and serious contenders to return to the World Series for the first time since they won it in 2002.

Wilson will complement a staff loaded with talented right-handers in Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, and give the Angels one of the most imposing starting rotations in the league.

According to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, Wilson made his decision at 5:30 a.m., and potentially could have gotten significantly more money had he remained on the market.

C.J. did no decide until 530 am. Agent Bob Garber says he "easily" could have gotten 100M. #Marlins and Loria "would not let it go." #MLBThu Dec 08 17:30:02 via Twitter for iPhone

Despite struggling at times in the postseason, Wilson’s overall numbers from 2011 were stellar. He posted a 16-7 record with a 2.94 ERA and 206 strikeouts. And after a two-year playoff drought, it appears the Halos suddenly have the makings of a postseason force once again.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Report: Albert Pujols to sign with Angels

Marlins Albert Pujols offer shows new financial muscle in Miami

Baseball Insider: Angels shock baseball with Pujols deal

By  |  12:42 PM ET, 12/08/2011

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