Dodgers a possibility for Wang?

What Went Right: The Improved Defense
Yanks say Swish not being shopped, obviously

The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players is December 12, just a few weeks away. The Yankees will have decisions to make on a few players, including Melky Cabrera, Brian Bruney, Chad Gaudin, and Sergio Mitre. Chances are the Yankees will offer arbitration to all four, though I still think there’s a chance they’ll non-tender Bruney. The biggest decision they face, though, is on Chien-Ming Wang. The Taiwanese righty might have already thrown his last pitch in pinstripes.

We learn this morning, via MLBTR, that Wang would consider pitching for the Dodgers. Really, he’ll probably consider pitching for all 30 teams, but the Dodgers have a comfort factor. Wang, always described as shy, would have not only two familiar coaches in Joe Torre and Larry Bowa (Don Mattingly, too), but he’d also have former schoolmate Hong-Chih Kuo. In picking his 2010 team, that will probably play a part for Wang.

Just because there’s a connection, of course, doesn’t mean that Wang is ready to don Dodger blue. If the Yankees do non-tender him, and the prevailing opinion in the NYC media is that they will, Wang and his agent Alan Nero will seek the best possible deal. Familiarity might help in that regard, making the Dodgers a strong possibility. And there’s no ruling out Wang re-signing with New York.

I’ve read opinions that the Yankees have mistreated Wang, though I don’t exactly buy that. They didn’t offer him a long-term deal, instead taking him to arbitration over $600,000 in 2008. It was a wise move by the Yankees. Wang, as we know, had two shoulder injuries before 2008, and the Yankees were proceeding with caution. The team and player then acted quickly last off-season, signing a one-year, $5 million deal before Christmas. Wang’s season-ending injury certainly had something to do with that.

It’s hard to see signs of disrespect in that. Not every pitcher gets a long-term deal from his original club. Some teams prefer to take that route, as the Giants did with Matt Cain. Others like to proceed with caution, especially with pitchers who have an injury history. Such has been the Yankees’ dealing with Wang. Now they’ll have another set of negotiations with Wang, presumably over a lesser contract that will bring him back for 2010.

Most of us, I think, would like to see Chien-Ming Wang back in pinstripes next season. We’ve seen him at his best, and if he can return to that level, or something near it, he can fortify the Yankees’ rotation mid-season. The Yankees have many factors to weigh in this decision, including the cost of keeping Wang around, weighed against the risk that he’ll fail. It’s doubtful Wang makes more than $6 million next season in arbitration, and my guess is that if the Yankees do tender him a contract that they’ll work out a one-year deal before the February arbitration hearings.

I think the Yankees have little to lose by offering Wang arbitration. That ensures that if he does return to form, it will be to the Yankees’ benefit. It’s essentially a $6 million bet on his health, though, and without his medicals in hand it’s impossible to make that decision. The Yankees have seen them, or else will see them. I trust they’ll make the right call.

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What Went Right: The Improved Defense
Yanks say Swish not being shopped, obviously
  • Mike HC

    Can he pitch in the minor leagues or does he have to be on the Yanks 25 man roster?

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

      No, he’s out of options. We can put him in the minors on a rehab clock, but eventually he’d need to be added back to the active roster once he’s fully healthy.

      Same thing happened last year.

  • Evil Empire

    Barring the obvious fact that the Yankees may know something we don’t, I agree that offering arb is the prudent move. If it was any team other than the Yankees (or maybe Boston or one of the LA teams), $6M might be too spicy of a meatball to go for it, but with Yankee money, its worth the gamble since it (I’m assuming) won’t affect any other personnel decisions made besides the fact that he’d still be on the 40-man. Also, if the bet does pay off and Wang is back to his 06/07 self – or even 80% of that – he’s still arb eligible next year as well, so the maximum payoff is more than just a 1/2 season of performance.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      “he’s still arb eligible next year as well, so the maximum payoff is more than just a 1/2 season of performance.”

      I didn’t mention this because I beat the point to death in the past few weeks. But it’s the most valid reason, to my mind, of offering Wang arb.

      • Evil Empire

        While it is absolutely the most valid reason, I would still venture to say that even based *only* 1/2 season, the bet could still pay off for the Yankees and be worth it. If it were, let’s say, the Twins who had the make that gamble (my favorite foil for the Yankees), it may not be.

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    It’s essentially a $6 million bet on his health, though, and without his medicals in hand it’s impossible to make that decision.

    It’s better than a $39.95 million bet…that’s for sure.

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

      Isn’t every contract a bet on health?

      • Evil Empire

        No contract with Johnny Damon and his genetics is a bet on health!

        /Boras’d

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

          Johnny Damon has the body of an athletic 21 year old. Because he regularly drinks the blood of athletic 21-year olds as part of my comprehensive youth-infusion program that has absolutely nothing to do with vampirism, no matter what stories you may have heard.

          Sincerely,
          Scott Boras

  • Zack

    There was no reason for Yankees to lock up Wang (or any arb-elig pitcher) long term. Clubs with lower payrolls do that so they get to keep the player for 1-2 of their FA years because they wouldnt be able to afford them going forward. There’s also risk in the pitcher getting injured or sucking and the team is stuck with the contract.
    People saying Yankees treated Wang with disrespect are just banging the ‘Yankees cant do anything right’ drum.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      All kinds of THIS. Yankees did everything right with Wang. It’s business, not T-Ball where everyone is special and everybody wins and everybody is happy!

    • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “People saying Yankees treated Wang with disrespect are just banging the ‘Yankees cant do anything right’ drum.”

      Agreed. I believe 2 or 3 of the beat writers also collaborated on a CMW biography (released in Taiwan but not here) so they seem to have a vested interested in CMW’s success. One of those authors has been the leader of the pro-Wang, ‘Yanks mistreat Wang’ mob. Just sayin’.

      • Zack

        Yeah, no different than FoxSports publshing the ‘Yankees are messing up” by not giving Jeter a 4yr/100m extension NOW. While we know that if Yanks did, Fox would be the first ones to write how it was a bad business move to give 100m to a 35year old SS.
        Sadly, it’s to the point where anything you hear/read you have to know the writer/company/talk show has a motive for their opinion.

    • whozat

      I agree that they didn’t mistreat Wang contract-wise, but I do think they mis-managed his rehab. Not so much that they told him to take it easy on his foot in the offseason, I think that was reasonable, but that they kept kind of rushing him back. I think that him compensating for a lack of lower-body strength led to the shoulder thing, and that if they’d not made that panic move 10 days into Wang’s last rehab and called him up when he was clearly not doing well…things may have been different.

  • cr1

    I’d like to see Wang back, but if the Yankees let him go it can’t hurt, in case he does bounce back big-time next year, for him to go to a team that almost never impacts the Yankees season.

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    How does Wang’s status with the Yankees affect the Yankees decisions to approach a starting pitcher in addition to Andy Pettitte? Is it just gamble with Wang or nothing at all? Or is there a back up plan with somebody else in case he signs elsewhere?

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

      I’d say he has no effect. I’m assuming the Yankees are expecting nothing out of Wang in ’10 and will take what they get. AP will be a target regardless of what happens with Wang.

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

        Agreed. Wang is firmly in the Sergio Mitre zone: If we bring him back, it’s as a rehab candidate to maybe do something in the second half of the season to plug a hole or provide a breather to the front 5 in the rotation.

      • Evil Empire

        WE GOTTA STOCK UP ON STARTING PITCHERS!!!!

        Besides the main 3 (assuming Pettitte comes back), I have no problem just collecting a shitload of back-end starters and see how it all comes together. If we get back Wang then we’d have as internal options for the rest of the rotation (though not all available right out of ST):

        Hughes
        Chamberlain
        Kennedy
        Gaudin
        Mitre
        Aceves
        Nova
        Z-Mac???…maybe???
        Wang
        Igawa (technically speaking)

        Plus I’m sure we can sign some more schlubs and fliers to minor league deals with invites to ST.

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

            Oh man we could get Kelvim Escobar on a minor league deal? Are you fucking shitting me? I would be SO down for that. God dammit. Someone promote this tommiesmithjohncarlos, he’s on top of his game.

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

              God dammit. Someone promote this tommiesmithjohncarlos, he’s on top of his game.

              Some have told me that I have ridiculous upside.

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                That better not be another penis joke.

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

                  Everything is a penis joke, my friend.

                • http://Wenevertradeagoodstarter TLVP

                  a nice sized penis is not a joke

          • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose
  • JMK aka The Overshare

    If you’re willing to dole out $6 million for a HUGE risk like Wang, why not just spend $8-9 million on a better pitcher with less severe injuries like Sheets (assuming he’d be willing to take a non-guaranteed role, which seems unlikely)?

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

      (assuming he’d be willing to take a non-guaranteed role, which seems unlikely)?

      You answered your own question.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I can dream, damnit!

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
          • JMK aka The Overshare

            The whole office got a kick out of that. That slinky outfit was…tasty. Song is a bit repetitive but whatevs.

            In my head, we’ve already signed Chapman, Sheets as a 6th starter and Harden as the set-up man.

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

              Beyonce Knowles is one of our great national treasures.

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                Kanye is far more valuable.

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

                  I wasn’t talking about her music.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  Nor was I. Kanye has birthing hips. I like that!

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/11/open-thread-you-have-the-red-sox-19930/ the artist formerly known as (sic)

    Offer Wang arbitration?

    That sounds like a CHIEN MING WRONG idea to me!

    /not really
    //just wanted to use Chien Ming Wrong
    ///sorry, won’t happen again

    • pete

      imetc

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

    Regarding Wang going to the Dodgers, what does their rotation really look like at this point?

    Wolf is gone, and Padilla too, although they’re reportedly bringing him back. So, if he returns, you’re looking at a Kershaw-Billingsley-Padilla-Kuroda front four with McDonald, Elbert, and Stults battling it out for the last spot.

    I floated the idea yesterday of a Pierre for Lowe swap; even if Lowe blocks that (since he wants to stay on the East coast), they could flip Pierre for, say, Kenshin Kawakami. Or, maybe they flip McDonald for Edwin Jackson and bring their old prospect home. I wonder if the Dodgers best move is to make a trade for a surplus starter somewhere rather than gamble on Wang, who may not be back.

    Just a thought.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Think they’ve heard of Jason Hirsch?

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

        Who? Who the hell is Jason Hirsh?

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

          You’er not gonna fool Tommie, JMK.

          • JMK aka The Overshare

            It was my buddy next to me who thought I’d pull a fast one.

        • Jordan

          He’s a STAHHTIN’ PITTCHAAAH!!1!

  • Reggie C.

    This rumor shouldn’t change the fact that as of now, no matter how good Wang’s recovery is purportedly going, there is simply no rotation spot for him.

    Lets not forget the lack of arm-strength issue that compounded his pitching woes last season. Wang hasn’t been on the mound + healthy in a long time. He’s going to need months of EST + minor league starts to get back arm strength, command of the cutter, and location.

    I’m sorry but Wang is still a non-factor. I’d rather lean on IPK and Chad Gaudin to start if a SP hits the DL. You just can’t toss $6 mm out the window for a hope and a prayer.

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

      Yes, but ironically, that kinda HELPS Wang rather than hurting him.

      We have a set front 5 with CC-AJ-Andy-Joba-Hughes, but Wang won’t be ready by Opening Day in all likelihood, so we can leave him in EXST on a rehab clock and wait to activate him until May-July (depending on when he actually starts throwing and appearing in games). So, he wouldn’t be ready on April 1st, but we wouldn’t need him April 1st. He may be ready by, say, June 1st, and come then, we may have an unforeseen vacancy in the rotation due to injury or struggles of some sort by one of the big 5.

      The fact that he’s hurt right now and would need some time in the minors makes him a better depth candidate than some of the other guys mentioned who would need to be on the big league roster in some capacity or another from Day 1.

      • Reggie C.

        There is something just striking me as wasteful to bring back Wang at 6 mm. I dont object to the idea of Wang’s return. if anything its kind of a born-to-run-last-chance-in-pinstripes story that’ll emerge.

        But that doesnt justify a $6 mm tag.

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

          You have a point. All things considered, though, he’s a nice upside play who may fit our team needs quite well.

    • Ed

      Lets not forget the lack of arm-strength issue that compounded his pitching woes last season. Wang hasn’t been on the mound + healthy in a long time. He’s going to need months of EST + minor league starts to get back arm strength, command of the cutter, and location.

      That’s a bonus if we go with Joba and Hughes in the rotation.

      Remember how Joba’s season played out? He was good (but not great) until he hit 110 IP on the season, exactly his previous peak as a pro and went downhill from there.

      If Wang is ready to return when Phil & Joba reach their previous highs, we can move one of them to the pen / rest / send to the minors / shut down / whatever as we see fit. The team had no choice this year but to stick it out with Joba as there was no one better to take his rotation spot.

  • Steve H

    Aren’t the Mccourts getting divorced because Jamie brought in another Wang?

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Bad-oom-pah!

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    I wish not to bother everyone with exercises of hypotheticals, but for shits and giggles, consider this:

    Wang puts up the injuries/ERA with another team, say the Royals. Would we still be as interested in signing the guy to $6 million (even if he put up his earlier career numbers)?

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    I’d offer Xavier Nady arbitration and possibly an $8MM deal for next year before carelessly throwing $6MM into the air gambling on Wang…

  • Tom T

    “I think the Yankees have little to lose by offering Wang arbitration.”

    I have disagree there, Joe. IMO the Yanks can spend $6M much more effectively elsewhere. Wang is no bet to 1. be healthy or 2. effective. No to Wang, especially in a year where Bedard, Sheets, Harden, Douche and Escobar can likely be had for 1 year deals.

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

      No to Wang, especially in a year where Bedard, Sheets, Harden, Douche and Escobar can likely be had for 1 year deals.

      Can they? I seriously doubt that Harden can be had for a one year deal at all; he actually made it to mid-September before being shut down due to fatigue. I bet someone offers him a multi-year deal to be a starter gambling on the upside, he’s got the least severe CURRENT injury risk.

      Bedard, Sheets, and J-Douche might be able to be had on one-year deals, but all three of them would likely take one year deals elsewhere where they’re guaranteed spots in the rotation from Day 1.

      Escobar is the only realistic option I see coming here. I was all aboard the J-Douche train before, but he’ll probably reup with the A’s or something.

  • Bo

    Why waste 6 mil on a guy who was terrible when healthy?

    Wouldnt that 6 mill be better spent on a reliever or Lackey?

    Let him go to the Dodgers. he was made for the NL.

    • Steve H

      So he was terrible (while injured) for a few months, and well above averge for a few years, and you focus on the tiny sample size?

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

      Why waste 6 mil on a guy who was terrible when healthy?

      Chien-Ming Wang “when healthy” (2005-2007):
      80 starts, 3.74 ERA (119+), 6.5 IP/S

      Chein-Ming Wang was NOT terrible when he was healthy.

    • Jeff

      “Why waste 6 mil on a guy who was terrible when healthy?”

      38 wins in two seasons, while finishing second in the Cy Young race losing only to Johan Santana is considered ‘terrible’??

      “he was made for the NL.”

      yeah okay, he got his foot injury while running the bases when the Yankees played the Atros in Houston. he clearly is NOT made for the NL.

  • misterd

    I think the roster spot is a bigger problem for the Yanks than the money.

    It’d be better to let Wang walk and give him the money for a minor league deal. We have no idea if he is ever going to recover, and if we do offer arbitration, we will be forced to put him on the team in June or July, whether he is ready or not. This created problems last year, and will do so again.

  • Raven

    Wang and Hong-Chih Kuo are NOT schoolmates.
    They were teammates in the national team of the Republic of China(aka Taiwan).

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