What will the Yankees do with Chien-Ming Wang?

Wednesday trade deadline open thread spillover
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Chien-Ming Wang and his injured shoulderThe news came down late last night: Chien-Ming Wang, the Yankees incumbent ace, will undergo athroscopic surgery to repair a problem with the capsule of his right shoulder, ending his season. The procedure was to be performed by the famed Dr. James Andrews this morning, and is expected to keep Wang out well into the 2010 season. The Yankees will have gotten nothing out of Wang over the last sixteen months when the offseason starts, and if you want to be particularly harsh you can actually argue that they’ve gotten negative production considering how he pitched this season.

How the injury occurred doesn’t really matter. Wang might have altered his mechanics following his foot injury last year, or maybe it’s the result of the violent and unnatural act of pitching. Never exactly a pillar of health, this will be Wang’s second major shoulder surgery (he had his labrum and rotator cuff repaired back in 2001) and the second time it’s given him trouble as a big leaguer. You can expect there to be plenty of talk about what the Yankees can/should/would/will do to upgrade their rotation, but just as important is the decision the team will make regarding Wang’s future this offseason. They can do one of three things:

  1. Resign him either by offering a contract or going to arbitration
  2. Nontender
  3. Nontender and attempt to resign him to a minor league contract

Injured players can’t be traded, but they can be included in deals as a PTBNL. However, since PTBNLs have to be named within six months of the deal, Wang would have to be healthy by then, which is not going to be the case. So that option is out.

As a Super-Two, Wang is eligible for four years of arbitration, and still has two more ahead of him. After paying him $5M this year, the Yanks would have to offer Wang no less than $4M if they offered him a contract because the CBA doesn’t allow paycuts greater than 20%, and chances are he’d get a raise – albeit a small one – if the two sides actually went to arbitration. But then the Yankees will be not only be paying Wang not to pitch for them, they’ll also have to foot the bill for his rehab. And, of course, there’s zero guarantee the Wanger will ever be an effective pitcher again.

The alternative to resigning Wang is not tendering him a contract, which for all intents and purposes is the same as releasing him with no strings attached. There’s always a handful of players nontendered each season, mostly players who are underperforming and are due for considerable raises through arbitration. Here’s last year’s list of nontendered players, just for reference.

If the Yanks decide to nontender Wang, they can go in one of two directions. They can just cut bait altogether and let him walk, or they can attempt to resign him to a minor league contract to keep him in the organization, keep his salary down, and keep him off the active roster. Remember, Wang is out of options, and the Yanks won’t be able to just leave him in the minors indefinitely as he gets healthy. Once he’s ready to pitch in games, his 30-day rehab clock starts, then he has to be back in the bigs.

Bringing Wang back on a minor league pact allows the Yankees to keep him in the minors as long as needed since no 30-day clock would be in effect. It’s definitely the ideal situation for the team because they’ll get to keep him in the organization while keeping costs down and letting Wang work back at his own pace. But will CMW and his agent go for that? The Yankees are the only organization Wang has ever known, but if nontendered it’s still likely some team will step up and offer a big league contract (Dodgers?), which means he’ll accrue service time bringing him closer to free agency (he won’t accumulate any service time if on a minor league deal), not to mention earn a bigger paycheck. And don’t forget that after being taken to an arbitration hearing two years ago over $600,000, Wang and his camp might harbor some animosity towards the team. Agreeing to come back to the Bombers on a minor league deal is the exact opposite of an ideal situation for Wang. Actually, it’s just one step up from being unemployed.

Keep in mind that we don’t know the extent of the damage and won’t know until after the surgery is complete and word gets out. Things could have gone well or things could have gone badly, and that will affect the Yankees’ decision. As of now, my money is on a straight nontender, with the Yanks looking to bring Wanger back with a minor league contract. It’s crazy to think we may have seen the last of Chien-Ming Wang in pinstripes.

Note: If you want to talk about trades and the deadline, do so in today’s Trade Deadline Open Thread. Thanks.

Photo Credit: Simmons, NY Daily News

Wednesday trade deadline open thread spillover
Are the Mets the new Knicks?
  • Mikebk

    i agree. i think they will try the non tender minor league deal.

    Do you think the fact there was some acrimony not this year but last year on the arbitration figure would make wang more likely to sign a minor or major league deal with another team before the yanks?

    • Reggie C.

      +1

      Wang knows he can win in the AL East. I think he’s actually comfortable pitching here in NY, and though the injuries have rendered him a sad distraction of what-might-have-been, I’m pulling for Wang to recover in pinstripes…but he can’t be on the 40-man.

  • ARX

    Perhaps Im just a hopelessly optimistic moron, but I still believe Wang has 3-4 good years left in him. Between the fucked up rehab and this shoulder problem, it’s at least possible his problems this year were mostly injury related, so there’s no reason he can’t return to form in 2010/11, and no way in hell he doesn’t get snapped up if we nontender him. I say keep him, bite the financial bullet until he’s healthy, and see where we’re at next year.

    • Bo

      Mark prior wants your optimism.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
        • Jack

          Stupid spam filter. I tried linking to a gif of the exploding head from Scanners.

  • Chip

    I agree with you Mike. It’d be silly to waste a roster spot when you don’t know if he’ll ever be the pitcher he currently is again. Could they sign him to a split minor league/major league contract where he gets bonuses for innings pitched next season?

    Also, that’s another 40 man spot they wouldn’t have plugged up. I realize that the Rule V draft is almost pointless now that they added another year before guys are eligible but it’s still something to think about

    • A.D.

      I mean they can 60 day DL him to start the season, and then there’s the 40 man spot back.

  • Pasqua

    I wonder if they could find a middle ground and offer him a contract that would put his salary somewhere between $0 (nontendered) and what he would earn in arbitration. Theoretically, this would allow him to accrue time, remain a Yankee, give the team a chance to see whether or not he can rebound, and “save” money (vs. arbitration). Probably a pipe dream, as I’d like to believe that both sides would make gentlemanly concessions, but a possibility?

  • Simon B.

    I’m not sure what the exact ramifications of this surgery, so maybe its nearly hopeless, but my initial thought is that 4 million is a small price to pay when you risk losing a pitcher of Wang’s caliber.

    They gave Brackman almost four million as a signing bonus , not to mention his major league salary, and he had not a fraction of Wang’s pedigree and track record as he was almost inevitably going into elbow surgery.

    • Brandon

      I agree. I’m not really the type that thinks the Yankees should make bad moves just because they can afford him, but pay a guy with potential left $4 million for one season. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  • Pasqua

    But, saving this as a possibility, I agree: nontender him.

    • Pasqua

      In re: to my comment above. Whoops.

  • A.D.

    they’ll also have to foot the bill for his rehab.

    Depending on the Yankees health insurance and/or insurance they take out against a contract, they may not have to.

    Additionally Wang may still have value for advertising & merchandise in Taiwan which could off-set some of this.

    • Chris

      It’s my understanding that they are responsible for his rehab unless another team signs him. I believe that is that case with Ben Sheets and the Brewers.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    The risk of Wang leaving if the NT/MiL deal is pursued seems too great, but at the same time I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

  • toad

    Is it possible to nontender with a previous agreement that will sign a minor-league deal at, say $2.5 million – picking a number – with some strong incentive for 2011?

    BTW, do teams typically insure against serious injuries to players?

    • whozat

      yes, i believe so

  • Sweet Lou

    His career is similar to Ed Figueroa’s – having approximately 4 solid years and then done with a major arm injury.

  • Bo

    You really shouldn’t even have #1 there as an option because it has a 0% chance of happening.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Sincerely,
      Bo from the future who knows all and sees all

    • Tampa Yankee

      Hey everybody… Bo’s here! Awesome!

      Thanks for commenting Bo, it’s a privilege to read your insightful and well thought out posts! Thanks again for being you!

    • Bill

      How do you figure? Wang isn’t going to accept a minor league contract if there are major league ones out there. If the Yankees feel he can come back midseason next year it might be worth the risk to suck it up and pay him. I’d certainly broach the topic of a minor league contract first, but I think that has less of a chance of happening than him getting offered arbitration.

    • Chris

      Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Yankees sign him to a deal for $4M in 2010 and a team option of $6-8M (maybe with a $2M or so buyout?).

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Hey, Bo’s making a negative comment without adding any insight whatsoever! That’s new and exciting.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      If I had to vote now, I’d say #1 is the most likely option.

      The Yanks have signed rehabbing players before (Lieber, Mitre, etc.). Why wouldn’t they do it with one of their own? And a guy that was their ace?

      Maybe it will be a two-year deal, where Wang gets paid less next year but gets some security. Maybe the Yanks get him to agree to a one-year deal without arbitration. Or maybe they go to arbitration. But I just can’t see the Yanks letting him walk. (And, I can’t see Wang accepting a minor league deal.)

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        The Yanks have signed rehabbing players before (Lieber, Mitre, etc.). Why wouldn’t they do it with one of their own? And a guy that was their ace?

        And a guy who was much, much, much better than Lieber and Mitre when he was healthy. Don’t forget that.

        • Make it 27

          I wouldn’t say Wang was much much much better than Lieber. If you look at the 3-4 years Lieber had prior to his injury, he has IP totals of 203, 251, 232, 141 (in an injury shortened season). He was 2 years removed from winning 20 games, had an average WHIP of about 1.2, averaged a little over 6k/9. While winning % is obviously important, in which case Wang has him by a large margin, you also have to look at the teams each pitched for. He was a few years older, but not an inferior pitcher.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And there is almost 0 percent chance that you aren’t an idiotic troll.

  • Bill

    We’ll probably have to offer him arbitration or let him go. I just don’t see him taking the minor league deal. It doesn’t make sense if someone else would offer a major league deal.

    The question is it worth it to take the 5-6M gamble that he’ll come back at some point next season or beyond? Tough call. I say probably, but not with any certainty.

    One thing I will say with some certainty is that John Lackey now needs to be our number 1 target in free agency this offseason. Pettitte is likely gone this offseason and Hughes will take his spot. However we will now need someone to take Wang’s spot. Lackey is the ideal choice.

    • A.D.

      It doesn’t make sense if someone else would offer a major league deal.

      No one offered Ben Sheets a deal
      Pedro wasn’t signed until healthy
      Marte was on a split deal
      Freddy Garcia was on an incentive deal.

      Recent history doesn’t look to good for Wang

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        And every one of the pitchers you cited were free agents, as opposed to Wang, who is still under team control. Big difference.

        Plus, the Yanks have signed rehab cases before (Lieber, Mitre).

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Lieber and Mitre were coming off TJ though, and elbows are a lot easier to fix than shoulders.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            True. But, on the flip side, Lieber and Mitre were free agents. Wang is club property.

            I understand your point, though.

            • Chris

              If I’m looking at it correctly, Mitre won’t be a free agent until after 2011…

              • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                But when the Yanks signed him, he was a free agent.

                • Chris

                  Right, but signing him to any deal gives you control over him through 2010 (and based on his time in the minors this year, it looks like it will be through 2011 also).

        • A.D.

          He’s under team control….unless he’s non-tendered.

      • Chris

        Not sure what you’re referring to with Marte, but all of the other pitchers were free agents. Wang is still arbitration eligible, so someone signing him gets his rights in 2010 and 2011.

        If you look at Mark Prior, the Cubs kept him under contract until his last year of arbitration on the hopes that he would get healthy. I can’t see the Yankees non-tendering him, since there is a chance (however small) that he will return healthy and effective. If he struggles to come back next year, then they would likely non-tender him next offseason.

        • A.D.

          My bad, Mitre

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No one offered Ben Sheets a deal
        Pedro wasn’t signed until healthy
        Marte Mitre was on a split deal
        Freddy Garcia was on an incentive deal.

        Recent history doesn’t look to good for Wang

        The difference between Pedro/Mitre/Garcia and Wang is that none of those three have the upside that Wang has if he gets healthy again. So, there would be more teams willing to bet on Wang with an ML deal than there would be for Pedro, Mitre, or Garcia because you’re not betting on any of those guys becoming a frontline starter again.

        The most appropriate comp is probably Sheets, since if they both can get healthy, they both are potential aces again. And Sheets most definitely will get an ML deal next year when he’s got a clean bill of health. Wang’s situation is different from Sheets’s though, in one key way:

        Wang’s injury doesn’t dovetail with the season like Sheets’s did. Sheets missed all of ’09 but will likely be good to go for ’10. Wang won’t be ready until after the season starts. So, you’re buying more sight unseen than you would be with Sheets, who could probably do workouts by November/December.

        Oh, and even if we non-tender him and he becomes a complete free agent, Wang still has two more years of arb before he’s a complete free agent, giving teams a bit more leverage over him than they’d have with Sheets. Wang’s not going to get a multiple year ML deal or a 1+1 deal like Sheets probably can, he’ll only get the one year so that the team holds the cards regarding arb for him the next year. But someone would give Wang a one year ML deal for next year to see what’s there come August or September.

  • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

    I think the Yanks should non-tender him and then overpay him to be a minor leaguer. I think the Yanks owe him that much, and anyway if he gets back to his old self at any point, he’d be a bargain (probably not as much as he has been, but a bargain nonetheless).

    I have a hard time with all the CBA rules and crap, so if that makes no sense, please call me on it. The question is, how can you make sure he has all the rehab time he needs while still holding on to him? The only way to offset his and his agent’s concern about service time, as well as outbidding other teams who might offer a major league deal, is to overpay. I don’t know how much it’d take, but I imagine more than what he’d get in arb.

    I still think it’s worth a shot, but maybe I’m being sentimental.

  • JMan

    The CBA is negotiated by the Players’ Association. Wouldn’t you want to be insured against massive pay cuts?

  • Januz

    I think the answer is they will non-tender him a contract. The Yankees have a history of bad long-term contracts (See Igawa, Kei & Pavano, Carl), But for whatever reason, Cashman decided NOT to do that in Wang’s case. Does it mean that he knew something? That I cannot say. But there was a reason for it, which will eventually come out.
    If this team decides that it needs another starter to go with CC, AJ, & Joba, then can go after John Lackey as a free agent (Keep in mind that Wang’s $5m, Petitte’s $5.5m, Damon’s $13m, Matsui’s $13m, Giambi’s $5m buyout, Nady’s $6.55m and Molina’s $2m are coming right off the books), or various other options (Most of which are better than paying Wang).

    • jsbrendog

      januz is back! and he brought paragraphs!

      welcome back!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The reason Igawa and Pavano got long term deals and Wang didn’t is because Wang wasn’t a free agent.

      Again, free agent status is the first and most important thing to consider when comparing contracts. How much leverage a player has is a direct determinant of how much money he can command.

      • Chris

        It’s the same reason (from the opposite side) that none of Boras’ clients sign long term deals before free agency.

      • Januz

        I would agree with you, except for two points: First, the Yankees made sure the Robinson Cano was locked up to a long-term contract. Cashman and company decided that he would be a better investment than Wang (And its turns out they were right). Second, players who are not “elite” do not have the leverage that they used to. This is what happened to guys like Orlando Hudson, Bobby Abreu & Andy Petitte (They had to take pay CUTS). We saw an example of this today with the Cliff Lee trade. The Indians wanted to save money so bad, they took low level prospects from the Phillies, in exchange for the 2008 CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER. Conversly, the Phillies were a rare team that was willing to take on salary (But NOT give up top prospects), and they knew Cleveland was desperate, so they were able to say NO to Toronto’s Halliday demands. Simply put, teams like the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels & Cardinals have all the leverage, and the lesser teams and players have little if any.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          A) Position players are way less risky than pitchers. You lock up young second basemen, not young pitchers. Cano is irrelevant to this discussion.
          B) Hudson, Abreu, and Pettitte were hitting the market as older players on the tail end of their careers. Not applicable to what we’re discussing here about Wang.
          C) The Indians didn’t take “low level prospects” for Cliff Lee, nor did they do so because they “wanted to save money so bad”. That’s just all sorts of incorrect.

          • Januz

            I did not see K-Rod get a huge contract (Perhaps it was because there were too FEW suitors for him?), and he is an elite closer, NOT over the hill.
            As for Cleveland, they took low level prospects (NO Happ, let alone Drabek in the package). Instead of holding onto Lee and getting draft picks. Teams like the Yankees are the ones in the strong position, because they have $50m coming off the books, and if they so choose, can send someone like Montero in a package for Halliday (Instead of signing Lackey) because they still have Romine, plus next year’s first round pick (Which would go to Anaheim for Lackey), and could even recoup traded prospects by signing guys like Alpin.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              No. To all of that.

              • Januz

                If this team could get Halliday for a package consisting of Montero, Z-Mac and say Joseph, that would be a no brainer. In addition, that would be far superior to Bucholz etc.
                Keep one thing in mind, Cashman is a great poker player (See Teixeira, Mark), and I could see him plucking Halliday away from Toronto.

        • Chip

          Cano is a hitter that makes good contact. Those are the types of guys who do well even if they hurt something in the long term. A pitcher can get a stupid little injury like a foot sprain and never be the same again. This is why the best pitchers get 7 year deals while the best hitters get 10 year deals. Hitters are more of a sure thing long-term.

    • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

      The Yankees under Steinbrenner have never been big on signing extensions with players before they’re eligible for free agency.

      I think they should go the arbitration route. If he’s going to get back next year at some point, you’ll have a chance to evaluate the likelihood of an effective comeback, and make another decision. But considering how good Wang was before the injury, there’s no way I’d cut him loose now while he’s still under team control.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Agreed. 4M is a hefty price to pay, but it’s worth it to give CMW one more good shot to get fully healthy and back to normal before we give up on him, IMO.

        • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

          I would say his contract will probably be closer to $5 mil, give or take, but that doesn’t seem all that steep to me either. If he isn’t rehabbing next season and it really doesn’t look like he’ll ever be the same, then maybe you non-tender him, but doing that before you have any idea what his recovery is going to be like just seems crazy to me.

          For what it’s worth, I very much doubt they could get him on a minor league deal.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Agreed. Kick the can down the road a year and see what CMW looks like in August 2010.

      • Zach

        extensions for arb-eligible players are really for small market clubs. yankees can afford to go year-to-year with Wang, Joba, Hughes, etc because they’re not going to get too expensive and blow their budget.

        extensions pros: guarantee money for young players (tough to turn down 30-50m), protect the club from losing their players and ballooning their payroll
        extensions cons: if the player gets hurt/ineffective the club is locked into the contract. if the player outperforms his contract (longoria in 3 years) hes way underpaid

  • Rob S.

    The appropriate question is…what will the Yankees do without Chien Ming Wang? Especially with Joba approaching his innings limit and a lot of talk about the Red Sox aquiring Halladay. We may be in a lot of trouble if the Yanks stand pat.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      JUST-IN DUCH-SCHERER!
      (clap clap clap-clap-clap)
      JUST-IN DUCH-SCHERER!
      (clap clap clap-clap-clap)

      • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

        Haha he’s becoming a RAB folk hero. I chanted for him yesterday.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          WE-WANT DOO-KIE!
          (clap clap clap-clap-clap)
          WE-WANT DOO-KIE!
          (clap clap clap-clap-clap)

          Wait, nevermind. That’s probably a bad idea.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            Unless you mean this:

            http://tinyurl.com/yhudnw (sfw)

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Thumbs UP!

              But, yeah, I’m on bored for J-Dukes.

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                Board, rather. I have shamed myself.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  You must feel like jsb.

  • Steve S

    Without knowing the full extent of the damage to his shoulder, I think Wang is done and not just necessarily with the Yankees. The guy is going to be 30-31 years old when he properly heals from this thing. I just don’t know the reality of a guy, who was an anomaly to begin with considering his k-rate and extraordinary level of success, succeeding after his second shoulder surgery. To be honest they could open him up and just find a disaster in there. Elbows have become solvable problem, shoulders, especially at that age, usually spell the end.

    This is why the Yankees didn’t sign him through the arbitration years. Pitchers are frail and you never know how or when it will blow up. Now we get to see if Kennedy can make Cashman look really good next year.

    • Chris

      Without knowing the full extent of the damage to his shoulder,

      I think this is the key point. We’re all speculating without any knowledge of how bad his shoulder truly is. The Yankees don’t have to make a decision on what to do until December. They should have a lot more information about how bad the damage was and how his rehab is progressing before deciding what to do.

    • Zach

      “anomaly to begin with considering his k-rate and extraordinary level of success”
      was Doc an anomaly in 2006 and 2007 when his Krate was 5.4 and 5.6? (wang was 5.1 in 2007, and it was going up evry year)

      • whozat

        Yes, yes he was. You also picked the two lowest K-rates of his career.

        He also walked fewer than 2 per 9. So, his K:BB was around or above 3 for both those seasons. Wang did not have that going for him.

        • Zach

          so every groundball pitcher is an anomaly when they have a good year?

      • Steve S

        Halladay managed to put up an ERA+ of 143 in 2006 and then it 120 in 2007 which happen to be two of his worst years overall (except those shortened by injury). The rest of the time he was at around 7k/9. Going up every year? Are you seriously counting this year?

        • Tank Foster

          Right. The staunch defenders of Wang really amaze me. I have nothing against him, but why is it so awful to point out that he didn’t look good as a long term prospect from the very beginning? Even if his K rate did improve some, it doesn’t really matter. He was always a low-K pitcher; modest improvements don’t change his long term outlook, I don’t think.

          There are exceptions…Lew Burdette was a great pitcher with a long career and K’s below league average. There aren’t many other than him.

          • Zach

            its not about being a staunch defender. its about Wang doesnt strike out 9 guys a game so hes not an ace, or not a #1, or hes just lucky, or he just wins because of the offense, or whatever else.
            not to mention he was pitching with a crappy IF defense behind him his whole career, but no lets not talk about that. i mean the stadium is in Andy’s head and thats why he struggles right? imagine if Wang was healthy this year with actually a good D

        • Zach

          3.6
          3.1
          4.7
          5.1
          6.2

          throw out this year if u want. still dont see progress?

          • Steve S

            The 6.2 came this year in 42 innings. The 5.1 was last year through 100 innings and was only .4 higher than the year before when he actually went 200 innings and could have been subject to an adjustment. I didnt mean to knock Wang, I thought he was a great pitcher but the reality is that his effectiveness, even if healthy, did not project to last considering how much contact he induced.

            And I referred to him as an anomaly because it appeared that he could succeed contrary to his peripheral numbers which would lead you to believe he would be a much more mediocre pitcher. I don’t know how long he would have continued provided he stayed healthy but it may have gone on for 10 years and he would have been a valuable part of the rotation.

            • Zach

              Right he had less innings. But it is well known that they’ve been working with him on different pitches (slider) and pitch selection.

              well what does “mediocre” mean? hes no cc, doc, beckett, aj, lincecum or whoever else. but when he was winning 19 games back to back with an ERA below 3.70 you sat there and thought, oh in 3 years this guy’s era is going to be 4.50?

              • Steve S

                And if he developed another pitch then that would have been great but he never really did.

                Mediocre means league average. I’m not the one who compared him to Halladay. His win totals seemed to be more of a product of the Yankee offense. I thought he was a good arm to have, but given his ERA+ least year before he got hurt was actually at 109 and had been around 124 and 120 (which is fine) I never thought he was a guy you could pencil in as 19/20 game winner for the next five or six years. And while I never actually said the words you are saying regarding his ERA, I did think that his numbers would get adjusted and his wins might decline. But he would be a nice piece of the puzzle as we went forward. I was never saying they should throw him off the team. BUT given his injury now, Im skeptical whether anyone could come back from it so he probably has pitched his last game in pinstripes.

  • A.D.

    Personally I think he’s back, on some type of ML deal, they probably agree ahead of arb. If Wang can be healthy and find his old form, he’s worth 15M + a year (in terms of fangraphs values) so something 5M or less is worth the gamble.

  • Tank Foster

    Maybe this is stating the obvious, but it depends. I would bet that from a baseball perspective, the Yankees are expecting to get essentially nothing out of him pitching wise from this point forward. I’m not saying the team has ruled out the possibility that he could return and be a decent pitcher, but I’m sure they are going forward making plans as if Wang will never pitch effectively again. Whether they choose to gamble a $4M MLB contract on him will depend on how cash strapped they are, and what the other options are for that $4M.

  • r.w.g.

    If the team can sign Wang for what he made this year, they should do that.

    If they can sign him for a million dollars less than what he made this year, they should do that faster.

    If he’s healthy and can get that sinker down, he’s probably good for an ERA in the low 4s, high 3s.

    But I think this injury and all that should probably stop any conversation about extending Wang past team control.

  • jsbrendog

    Aren’t Kei Igawa’s Sunglasses coming off the books? If they paid him $4 milla yr then why not throw 4 mill at Wang? Ridiculous upside.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Igawa is signed through 2011.

      /brokenrecord’d

      • jsbrendog

        wel.. whatever. give wang 4 mill anyway. yada yada upside etc etc

        • Chip

          non-tender, Justin Duchscherer, Roy Halladay, healthy, yankees have a lot of money, bad k rate, groundball pitcher, yankees hate him

          /condensed’d

          • jsbrendog

            what?

            • Chip

              I condensed all the comments on this post to 20 words

              • jsbrendog

                igin

                (i get it now)

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            chip, that was fanfuckintastic.

            …any chance i can get you to have lunch with my wife, coffee with my boss, afternoon snack with my 5 year old, then spend about 45 seconds telling me everything i need to know for the week???

            seriously, i would be willing to pay you at least $3.84. USD.

        • Tank Foster

          You think Wang has big upside? I guess it depends how you define it, but I think suggesting that his 19-win form is his potential upside is a big reach…so much that I don’t consider it a real world “upside.” Educate me, though…

          • Chip

            200 innings a year with an ERA under 4 and relatively cheap is what you would call ridiculous upside

          • jsbrendog

            the orinal comment was saying if kei igawa gets 4 mill, compared to him, wang has ridiculous upside. which he does. cause he has gotten more than 10 ppl out at the ml level.

            but anyway,

            taking it from, well, he is injured and might never pitch again, but he could also become a 19 game winner again at 200 innings and an era under 4 as chip said, or in the middle, 150-180 innings with a 4-4.50 era and 13-17 wins is still ridiculous upside considering where he is now and mroe than plausible considering where he was before.

            • Tank Foster

              Gotcha. For me, to be considered upside, it has to be something that could realistically happen. Maybe I’m channeling Bo here, but I just cannot see him being a 13-17 win guy with a 4.50 ERA again. He’s 30-31 before he’s able to pitch again, and when that time actually comes, it’s been like 3 full seasons since he’s ever been pitching regularly in the majors. Maybe he could be salvaged as a relief pitcher.

    • KW
      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        YOU’VE GOT IT MADE WITH A GUY IN SHADES, OH NO!!!!

  • Joseph M

    Non tender minor league deal. I’d have no problem with option (2) but there is little risk in the minor league deal and on the odd chance he makes it back the Yanks are covered. I stated here several months ago that Wang would win less than 80 games for his career, if anything I was being overly optimistic.

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