HOUSTON -- C.J. Wilson's victory over the Astros on Tuesday night left him with a record of 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA. It also puts him at the top -- as far as performance -- among the list of starting pitchers who could be free agents at the end of this season.
Wilson is among 20 potential free-agent starting pitchers who have made at least 12 starts so far this season. That list includes pitchers with club or player options, as well as CC Sabathia, who has the chance to opt out of a contract that pays him $23 million annually through 2015.
Of those 19 pitchers, only Erik Bedard (4-6, 3.00 ERA) of the Mariners and Huroki Kuroda (5-9, 3.10) of the Dodgers have a lower ERA than Wilson. After Wilson comes Paul Maholm of the Pirates, who is 4-8 with a 3.21 ERA and then Sabathia (10-4, 3.25), Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.28), Jason Marquis (7-2, 3.62), Aaron Harang (7-2, 3.71), Mark Buehrle (6-5, 3.73) and Livan Hernandez (5-8, 3.71).
Wilson is second on the list in innings pitched. He has pitched 117 2/3 innings, while Sabathia has pitched 122 innings. Wilson is fourth on the list with 7.65 strikeouts per nine innings and fifth with 11.55 baserunners per nine innings.
Of those 20 pitchers, Wilson, who turns 31 in November, is the fourth youngest behind Edwin Jackson (4-6, 4.13), Maholm and Jeff Francis (3-9, 4.79).
Over the past two years, Wilson is 23-11 with a 3.27 ERA in 50 starts since moving to the rotation. That .676 winning percent is tied for the eighth best among any starting pitcher with at least 20 decisions since the beginning of the 2010 season.