Davidoff: Wang all but non-tendered

Open Thread: The calm before the storm
An option for 2010: Build with pitching and defense

This video is from Taiwan. It shows Chien-Ming Wang, managing at a recent charity, getting on the mound to throw a few warm-up pitches. Wang is just a few months’ removed from surgery and only just begun to throw right-handed. So he takes a few to glove from the left slide before turning the ball back over to his pitcher. He looks like he’s having fun, but Wang is a long way away from the days of being an ace.

For Wang, this week might be the last of his Yankee career. December 12 — next Saturday — is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not to tender their pre-free agent players a contract for 2010, and Ken Davidoff tonight reports that Wang might as well begin shopping his services now. The Yankees, he says, “don’t see Wang as being able to help significantly next year,” and the pitcher would make too much via arbitration to make it worth while.

Davidoff also notes that the Dodgers will be interested once Wang is officially a free agent. In L.A. he would be reunited with Torre, a manager who trusted him with a Game 1 ALDS start as recently as 2007.

It’s amazing to think how quickly Wang declined. Even before his foot injury, he seemed to have lost that touch with his sinker, and since that fateful day in Houston, he has been a non-factor. Maybe he’ll come back to contribute again. I’ll root for him, wherever he might land.

Open Thread: The calm before the storm
An option for 2010: Build with pitching and defense
  • Stryker

    poor guy. the man was a bright spot in an underachieving pitching staff during an uneventful 3 years.

    • Ting

      Wang, just go ahead! I am sure all Taiwanese are on your side. Keep pitching amazing sinker to confuse the best MLB batters!

  • Evil Empire

    Sucks for Wanger. I trust the Yankees’ evaluations, they know better than anyone.

    Even if he never throws another pitch again in ANY uniform, he’ll still have done better than most, and made more than most. But I do hope he rebounds and continues to have a solid career.

  • leche: it does the yankees good

    i will miss wang

  • Yankeefan91 Arod fan

    Maybe Wang can become a left handed specialist :P but if wang leaves im sure gonna miss him.

  • pat

    Even before his foot injury, he seemed to have lost that touch with his sinker

    I don’t know about that. It seems like he was off to a really good start before the lisfranc injury. 95 ip with a 3.7 fip and 1.31 whip. His HR/9 and H/9 were down, walks were up, but so were the K/9. I could be wrong but I thought he was doing pretty well. Heck, his record was 8-2*.

    * I know, I know.

    • whozat

      Those numbers don’t contradict the original statement…his GB% wasn’t what it had been before and, anecdotally, I remember him going through stretches where he’d have huge problems getting the ball down in the zone.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      His GB/AO rate was down to 1.65 in 2008 from 2.13 in 2007 and 2.59 in 2006. The K rate was nice, but it seemed as though he had a different out-pitch. This year, of course, was simply a disaster.

      • pat

        Bah, you’re completely right, I looked at the wrong numbers when I looked at his GB rates. Dummy.

      • CountryClub

        I believe part of the reason for this was that the Yanks were forcing him to throw different pitches. They didnt want him to be a “sinker all the time” guy.

    • Ed

      Wang’s first 9 starts of ’08:
      59 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 38 K

      Last 6 starts of ’08:
      36 IP, 6.00 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 16 K

      Something changed about a month before he hurt his foot.

      • V

        Man, he was utterly dominant at the start of 2008. Remember these two games?

        4-1 2-hitter against the Red Sox: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200804110.shtml

        1-0, outdueling Sabathia; Wang for 7, Joba for 1, Mo for 1: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE200804270.shtml

        • V
          • JGS

            Yankee pitching faced 28 batters that game. wow

          • Salty Buggah

            I think that game was on Fox because I remember watching it. I had just started watching the games again after only checking the results at night since school was close to being done. A-Rod was still on fire. Good times (though we were still losing).

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

          I remember the game v. Sabathia.

      • Salty Buggah

        Soooo…he got injured on purpose!!!! He needed an excuse for his suckiness and declining peripherals. The excuse basically bought him a whole year of excuses. It all makes sense now.

        /Conspiracy theory’d

  • Crazy Eyes Killa

    I hope they work out a split contract with incentives and an opt out.

  • Free Mike Vick

    Bye Wang.

    Good luck wherever you end up.

  • Evil Empire

    I mean, is having a non-tender wang even a bad thing? There is such a thing as being overly-sensitive.

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


    • steve (different one)

      that’s probably why they’ll look into Harden.

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

        Eh, I don’t think they will. His injury history is far from sparkling and he could probably get a guaranteed starting job somewhere; the Yankees can’t do that for him.

        • steve (different one)

          i thought we were just making wang jokes. you did +1 the one i was responding too…

          • Salty Buggah

            Ohhh…I get your joke now. Heh.

          • pat

            Hahaha, I got u too steve. The CT Yankee is a little slow, don’t mind him.

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

              You really know how to cut to the core of me, pat.

              • pat


  • Salty Buggah

    I will miss that power sinker.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=nf Andy in Sunny Daytona

    At the :39 mark, he breaks his foot again.

  • AJ

    Ugh..Imagine if he was back to what he used to be. CC, Burnett, Wang, Pettitte, Joba/Hughes next year would have looked pretty damn good…

    • chriskeo

      After the Yankees signed all their FA starters last winter thats what the opening day 2009 rotation was set to look like (and did). Oh well…

  • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

    By sheer coincidence I saw Wang pitch more games at the Stadium than any other pitcher during his time here, including a phenomenal 2-0 victory over the A’s in ’06. It was a great duel against Barry Zito whose only blemishes were the two solo HRs he gave up (A-Rod, then Bernie).

    If indeed his tenure in the Bronx has come to an end, I’ll be saddened to see him go but grateful for the outstanding job he did here overall. Best of luck to him.

  • Michael Kay

    that sucks. well if thats it for him, I’ll definitely remember him fondly. I think a lot of his appeal was how he came up that year when Kevin Brown was godawful and Randy Johnson was, well, you all remember him. Mussina was off & on, and it was just refreshing to see a kid (younger at least than what we were seeing for a while) come up from the system and become the ace of the staff. I’ll also remember the nights when that sinker was on and as batters often described it “Like trying to hit a bowling ball”. Being in the stadium for a few of those was awesome.

    I’d love to see him get one more shot, but as many have & will say, I understand the Yankees have a business decision to make and if Wang would cost too much for a reclamation project they’d be better off throwing that money elsewhere.

  • Slugger27

    heres what i dont get… the guy missed most of 2008, and when he did pitch in 2009, he was DREADFUL… historically bad, and baseballs been around a while

    my question is: why would he get a raise in arbitration? i mean given his 2008 and 2009 seasons, what arbitrator would decide hes earned and is worth a raise?

    doesnt everything point to him getting a decrease in arb?? what am i missing??

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      I believe — but I’m not 100 percent certain — that the Yanks can’t offer him less than 80 percent of his 2009 contract in arbitration. That means he would earn at least $4 million.

      • Slugger27

        thats a ridiculous rule if thats true

        and i thought octavio dotel being a Type A while crawford and pettitte being Type Bs was bad…. mandatory arb offerings despite HISTORICALLY bad performances is just as bad if not worse

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          thats a ridiculous rule if thats true

          Why? It gives teams two options for players who were bad: (1) salary arbitration offer at a lower salary; or (2) non-tender and either let them go or renegotiate at a lower rate. It protects both the players and the teams.

          • Slugger27

            disagree. it protects the player.

            if a team is forced to offer a certain amount of be forced to non-tender, that doesnt protect the team. i think both parties should be able to submit whatever figure they want… youre under team control for 6 years, it shouldnt come with caveats unless the team just flat out doesnt want u anymore

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              If the player had such a bad year that the team doesn’t even think the player is worth 80 percent of what they made the year before, why would they keep them around?

              Just because the Yanks non-tender Wang doesn’t mean they can’t renegotiate a better deal with him and keep him under their control. By tendering him, they are locked into a guaranteed minimum deal for 2010 of $4 million.

              • Slugger27

                you make good points.

                i guess whats bugging me is the fact that they lose control over him…. as in, they HAVE to pay him 4 million (knowing he certainly isnt worth that) or he becomes a FA and can sign with any team

                i understand its intentions, it just kinda bothers me… i also think its not fair the rays are gonna have to let go of navarro just cuz of one bad year

                i guess i can see why the rule is in place, just doesnt sit well with me

                • Bob Stone

                  I agree with your sentiment. It gives too much downside protection to a player that underperforms. And, it hurts a team by forcing them to lose control over a player because they do not want to overpay for poor performance. There should be a fairer middleground in the rule. I guess you just chalk this up as a win for the MLBPA in the last CBA.

            • Ed

              disagree. it protects the player.

              That’s exactly the point. That’s one of the few bits of leverage the players get during their 6+ years of team control. Just about every other part of the process favors the teams. If the teams don’t like it, they have the option of relinquishing their control of the player.

      • Michael Kay

        yeah, I’ve heard similar, 5th year of service means he’s in the 80% bracket or something. Either way I don’t think Cashman wants to pay him $4 million to maybe be available in July.

    • Ed

      doesnt everything point to him getting a decrease in arb?? what am i missing??

      Arbitration is designed to gradually transition players from making near-minimum salaries to free agent rates. The averages work out to 1st year arbitration players earning 40% of their market value, second year 60%, and third year 80%. That means that players with small performance decreases should still expect a raise.

      The rules for players under team control state that the team cannot offer a contract under 80% of the previous season’s value. The result of this is players that fall off a cliff or get a severe injury just don’t get offered a contract at all.

      Those two factors combine to make a very narrow pool of players that deserve a decrease but are still worth the minimum allowed to be offered.

      In this case, Wang would have to make at least $4m next year. If the Yankees don’t think he can contribute significantly, all that $4m+ really offers them is the chance to pay another $4m+ to keep him in 2011.

  • Andrew

    its too damn bad hes a goner. if he was 2007 good, there would be no need to shop for anybody now………sigh.

  • Bo

    Plenty of guys flameout after a few good yrs. Hard to remember someone losing it as fast as him though. Tough to maintain it when you have one above avg pitch and cant stay healthy.

    He’ll be better off in the NL anyway.

  • Mason

    Wang will be missed. But he, like most MLB players, is replaceable. I would love to see the Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson to fill up 2 holes with a single move. The problem, however, is who the Yankees would be willing to give up in such a trade. Detroit’s asking price will probably be too high for both, but I wouldnt be suprised to see the Yankees trade for one of them.

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  • Jo

    The man with ski mask is Hong-Chih Kuo from Dodgers.

    • Tab Chen

      and Ni from DET Tiger shows up, too

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