Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (36) delivers during the...

Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (36) delivers during the first inning of Game 1 in baseball's American League division series playoffs against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday in Arlington, Texas. (Sept. 30, 2011) Credit: AP

DETROIT -- Nolan Ryan went toe-to-toe against the Yankees last offseason in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, a battle neither team won as the lefthander chose the Phillies.

This season, his Rangers and the Yankees figure to be involved in the pursuit of another lefthander -- though not one as coveted, or as good, as Lee -- in the Rangers' C.J. Wilson, a free-agent-to-be.

"You know that there are going to be some clubs out there that have a lot of resources that always are looking for pitching," Ryan said last night before Game 3 of the ALCS. "Every ballclub in baseball is always looking for pitching so when you have someone of C.J.'s caliber that's going on the market you know there are going to be challenges there."

Wilson, who turns 31 next month, is sure to be among the pitchers the Yankees show an interest in. Wilson, in his second full season as a starter, went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, throwing 223 1/3 innings.

Wilson isn't likely to come close to the five-year, $120-million deal Lee received but, as the top pitcher in a weak free- agent class, he'll be able to leverage a significant deal.


Young scratched

Delmon Young's return to the ALCS very well may have lasted one game. The Tigers leftfielder, left off the original 25-man roster because of a mild oblique strain but added back to it before Game 2 when Magglio Ordoñez broke his ankle, was scratched before Game 3.


Porcello's point of view

Tigers' Game 4 starter Rick Porcello on the difference between the Yankees' lineup, which scored four runs in six innings off him in Game 4 of the ALDS, and the Rangers': "I think the Rangers' lineup is a little bit deeper. One through nine they have guys that can hurt you. You really have to be on your game."

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