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Angels chase pitching before Pujols

While we in St. Louis wait to find out who Mike Matheny will keep for his coaching staff and who he will replace, the free agent world keeps on turnin'.

So here's what's going on with Albert Watch 2011.

The Angels, a deep-pocketed club that might like to have a Latin American drawing card on its roster, have set their sights on Rangers free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson as their top off-season priority, according to the L.A. Times.

Wilson seems to be the top starting pitcher available. So he's going to get his share of attention. But it makes extra sense for the Angels to try to steal the best starter of their division rivals, effectively getting twice the bang for their buck.

Meanwhile, it seems that Pujols' chief free agent competition won't be heading back to Milwaukee. The Brewers reportedly aren't interested in making anywhere near the sort of offer Prince Fielder wants to return in 2012.

The Brewers are said to be interested instead in taking some of their Fielder savings and offering it to Mets free agent shortstop Jose Reyes. They'd lose some thump without fielder. But the offense the middle of their infield could provide with Reyes at shortstop and Rickie Weeks at second base would be something to behold.

Today Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, seemed to be taking some veiled shots at Albert saying that teams that were set up to compete for the long haul ought to be more interested in his client since he is several years younger than Pujols. I doubt the assertion since Pujols is in so much better shape than fielder. But I hope other teams buy into it and keep the market for the St. Louis first sacker in the realm of reasonability.