Davidoff: Yanks will not tender Wang

Open Thread: Looking at the Granderson Trade
Coke a starter in Detroit? Not likely


The deadline for teams to offer contracts to players under their control is midnight tonight, and Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees will not tender Chien-Ming Wang a contract. Davidoff initially reported this development six days ago via Twitter and confirms it tonight.

Says the brief subscribers’ only article on Newsday’s website:

The Yankees’ top priority this offseason remains improving their starting rotation. On Saturday, however, they’ll bid farewell to the pitcher who has won the most games since Brian Cashman became a bona fide general manager. Chien-Ming Wang, still rehabilitating after right shoulder surgery, will not be tendered a contract by the Yankees Saturday. He might very well top the list of non-tenders throughout the industry…

Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, has said the righthander could be ready by Opening Day, but Cashman said this past week that he thinks Wang will be back sometime between April and June. The Yankees simply don’t think Wang will be able to contribute in any significant fashion in 2010.”

Wang, who turns 30 in March, was signed by the Yanks as an international free agent in 2000. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and turned in three very strong seasons for the Yanks at a time when the team couldn’t find pitching. In mid-2008, though, disaster struck when Wang suffered a freak Lisfranc injury while running the bases during an Interleague Play game in Houston.

After sitting out the second half of 2008 while rehabbing his foot, the sinker ball specialist attempted a comeback in 2009. He suffered through a bout of horrendous ineffectiveness early on. In his first three appearances of the year, he lasted just 6 innings and allowed 23 earned runs on 23 hits and six walks. After spending a month on the disabled list to build up his lower body strength, he came back in late May and was better. Over his final nine games for the Yanks, he went 1-3 with a 5.50 ERA in 36 innings. Encouraging for Wang were the 27 strike outs, but he left his July 4th start with shoulder pains. A few weeks later, after three different opinions, he opted for labrum surgery, the second major arm procedure of his career.

At this point, the Yankees are moving forward without Wang in their plans. He says that a Bronx return remains his first choice, and as a non-tendered free agent, he could come back to the Yanks on a low base salary with some incentives. The Dodgers, however, will be very keen to bid for his services.

Still, even before his injury, the Yanks were wary of Wang’s long-term ability to get outs. They want to arbitration with him after the 2007 season over a matter of $600,000 and then saw his sinker ball lose its effectiveness during the first half of 2008. Had the Yanks tendered Wang, they would have owed him at least $4 million in 2010, and that was a financial risk the team was simply unwilling to take.

Wang was a shining star on the Yanks when the team had no pitching. He was always calm and collected on the hill, and he was a true superstar in his native Taiwan. If this is the end of the Yanks’ relationship with Wang, I’ll tip my hat to Number 40 and wish him well wherever he lands. A promising career cut short by a freak accident is a sad even to witness indeed.

After the jump, a photo from the Yanks’ rookie hazing efforts in 2005. Hard to believe how far Wang, grinning happily in that photo, and the Yanks have come since then.

Open Thread: Looking at the Granderson Trade
Coke a starter in Detroit? Not likely
  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    This is me surprised. -_-

  • Salty Buggah

    Hopefully the Yanks can sign him to MiLB deal. If not, hopefully they can sign him split-contract or something if no one else offers him a MLB deal (which seems unlikely).

    On a side note, LOL at “tender” and “Wang” in the same sentence. [/immature’d]

    • dkidd

      my wang is definitely tender

      /jeter after a night with jessica alba’d

  • Tseng

    This makes me very sad. I can only hope that Wang bounces back and has a great year.

  • Charlie

    um, what’s with the sorta weird picture?

    • pat

      Rookie hazing most likely.

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

      Rookie hazing, 2005. I dropped a note about that in the updated version of the post.

      • Charlie

        ah, now i see

      • dkidd

        who’s the other guy in the pic?

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

    I understand but I’m still sad.

  • max

    This picture is pretty fucking weak coming from you guys.

    I didn’t expect this.

    • Salty Buggah

      What? It’s funny picture that I’m sure a lot of people have seen before. I don’t find anything inappropriate with it.

      • Tseng

        Well, I mean, think of it like this. You just got fired from your job due to some freak circumstances beyond your control and some poor work on your part. The company releases a statement announces your dismissal. They show a photo of you in a clown suit on “bring your kid to work” day. Not exactly the same thing, but same sentiments, in my book.

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

          Fair enough. I changed the picture. I didn’t mean any disrespect toward Wang. It was a light-hearted moment, one he probably hasn’t had at a ballpark in a while.

        • Salty Buggah

          Oh, OK. I didn’t see it as that.

        • http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d80/madamsteph/Sports/alg_melky.jpg Drew

          Heh.. Yeah, if Cash posted this photo it’d be dick. Ben posted a photo that shows young Rookie Wang in an article that spoke of how times have changed. I liked it. I think most people here love Wanger and wish him well. I know I’m not the only one that hopes we can have him back to resurrect his career.

          • Tseng

            Well, the post has been edited from the one I originally commented on. I like the post now, if I can like an article that talks about how my favorite newcomer yankee is being non-tendered

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

      It’s a picture showing Wang having fun as a Yankee. What are we supposed to do — have a wake for the guy? He was non-tendered, not executed.

      • Tseng

        Well, I like the post pic better now. It’s not like he was some random scrub. He pitched well for a few years and was the only real bright spot in the rotation. He was used along with Cano and Melky as an example of farm system success.

        I wasn’t really bothered as much as the guy above apparently is, but it did bother me a little bit.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        I’m wearing all black personally.

        Nevermind that it’s about all I wear.

    • lebigyank

      get over yourself

      • max

        I wasn’t trying to sound high and mighty or anything. I just thought that the one pitcher who actually delivered during the recent down period deserves a little more recognition than a pic of him in a cheerleading outfit.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          I just thought that the one pitcher who actually delivered during the recent down period deserves a little more recognition than a pic of him in a cheerleading outfit.

          Mike Mussina says hello.

  • Jeff Levy

    This is disappointing. I was a big fan of Wang. I hope the Yankees can work out an incentive deal with a low base salary.

    Is Wang really any worse than the other high risk pitchers out there? Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer and Erik Bedard have all faced recent injuries like Wang, it seems like they all are in a similar situation. They have had success in the past, but have a questionable future.

    It seems like the Yankees have been moving towards having mostly power pitchers like Sabathia, Burnett, Chamberlain, Hughes. Wang doesn’t really fit that.

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

      I think it really comes to the Yanks’ lack of faith in Wang. They didn’t have much to begin with — and for good reason as pitchers with his K rates don’t usually succeed long-term in the Majors. Considering that he hasn’t been a consistent pitcher since 2007, the team was ready to go in a different direction, and they better can use the $5 million if it isn’t going to Wang. That’s the honest, but sad, truth.

      • http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d80/madamsteph/Sports/alg_melky.jpg Drew

        Still, that sinker was something special.. Almost one of a kind. I mean the dude had to have a fake nail! I really hope he finds it again.

        • Salty Buggah

          93-96 mph power sinker. It was great when it was on.

          • SheldonCooperPHD

            i’m going to miss my friends who are sox fans arguing that ‘there’s no way he can keep it up with those periphs!’

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

              Well, so far, they’re right. He kept it up for three seasons, and then it fell apart.

              • SheldonCooperPHD

                Yeah, but it looks more like it was spurred by injury as opposed to his stuff.

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

                  I don’t know about that. His stuff and the results were fading before the Lisfranc injury in 2008. Ground ball rates were way down against him before that day in Houston.

                • SheldonCooperPHD

                  Eh, I had this discussion w/some yanks fan buds before…most people remember the rough 4 game stretch a couple games before the injury punctuated by the performance against the mets but i vaguely remember looking up the gb/fb ratio during that stretch and finding it to be nearly the same as his previous year. I’ll check it because I might be wrong. Either way, it (the slump) also might just have been regression as he’d been filthy prior to that stretch (as opposed to the early inklings of him meeting his periphs).

    • SheldonCooperPHD

      the main issue with Wang isn’t his ceiling as a reclamation project, it’s that as a short term contract (which is really all that can be offered) he’s the mostly likely candidate to not even be ready for several months into the season (think the smoltz experience for the red sox this year)

      that defeats the point of a short term signing of a cost effective pitcher to bolster the rotation depth and eat innings to cover joba/phranchise

      that said, from a fan’s perspective i agree with you that its real sad to see him go. he was my favorite pitcher in the yanks rotation while he was our de facto ace and was one of the few dependable things for the team during that period

      the best case scenario would be wang signing with a team not named the dodgers on a one year deal, performing fairly well and then being looked at us again next year

      • Salty Buggah

        I’ve watched the last season of that show but after I read your name, I still read this as if the real Sheldon were reading it.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        …it’s that as a short term contract… he’s the mostly likely candidate to not even be ready for several months into the season (think the smoltz experience for the red sox this year)

        that defeats the point of a short term signing of a cost effective pitcher to bolster the rotation depth and eat innings to cover joba/phranchise

        I disagree. The fact that Wang wouldn’t be ready until midseason makes him MORE attractive to the Yankees this 2010 season, not less.

        We would have no room for him or place to put him in April; our rotation is full, the bullpen would likely be full, and he can’t be optioned to the minors.

        We would, however, likely need an extra pitcher by midseason, because pitchers always get knicked up and there’s a good likelihood that one of our front 5 of CC-AJ-Andy-Joba-Hughes may be hurt come June/July/August. Wang would have value then, and that’s right around the time Wang would conveniently be available.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          So, the ultimatum: Do you think the Yanks sign Wang, or even make him an offer?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            I hope so, but I don’t think they will.

        • J

          Yeah but TSJC you are confident that the rotation is set. Rotation depth could also be that they want another starter to make Hughes and/or Joba earn the starting spot. The attitude last time this happened was that the Yankees were wrong and wouldn’t do it again.

          I am not saying I am in favor of either being in the pen. I said yesterday that there comes a time when they need to let ’em fly and see what they have. All I am saying is having a depth that may be ready by mid season, and then have to struggle through the first few starts until the pitcher gets the feel back, is not necessarily the ideal (or only) way to go. I personally would rather have a guy like Duke who could start right away if they deem it necessary.

          • J

            And why would they be hurt in June/July/August but not in April/May/June? Pitchers get hurt all the time. Just look at Brandon Webb last year.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              But again, if you want Joba and Phil to start from day one, you should be looking for pitchers who won’t re ready to start by day one, because the pitchers who WILL be ready to start by day one won’t want to come here because they know they wouldn’t have a spot or a role.

              It’s a Catch-22. If you’re good enough and healthy enough to provide reliable depth behing Joba and Phil, you won’t come here. If you’re a drastically riskier or inferior option that that won’t be reliable and may not be ready/productive at all, you will.

  • Jeff Levy

    If the Yankees cut both Wang and Hideki Matsui how do they keep a presence in the Asian markets? Would cutting ties with both these players affect their ability to sign players out of Asia?

    • Salty Buggah

      Eh, if we don’t sign him, Hideki had his glory years (in MLB) as a Yankee, won a World Series MVP, obviously the 1st for an Japanese player, as a Yankee, and will be remembered as a Yankee. Wang, barring a great comeback, had his best year as a Yankee too. People will remember their times as Yankees and that those time were pretty good. So, I dont think cutting ties with both will have any affect on their presence in Asia. If they had a bad stint in NY, maybe some might see the Yanks in a negative way if they cut ties with them both. But that wasn’t the case.

      Besides, I’m sure Asian players, or any other player in general, will usually sign with the team that offers the most money, and the Yanks have good chance of being that team if the player is good enough.

    • SheldonCooperPHD

      I doubt it. At the end of the day the Yankees are still baseball’s Manchester United.

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

        But run much, much better.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      We could sign Ryota Igarashi.

    • steve (different one)

      how did they sign Wang and Matsui before they had Wang and Matsui?

      by offering the most money.

      nothing has changed.

  • ShuutoHeat

    Nothing is absolute, a small part of me is still grasping onto whatever hope might be left. Maybe, Yankees will go ahead with a incentive based kinda deal…. but if not…

    I salute you and tip my cap to you Chien Ming Wang, until we meet again. I will also retire your Yankees merchandise in a nice box and put away nicely. You will always be the “ace” of the staff during those years. Good times.

    • shuutoheat

      wow ShuutoHeat, you have officially creeped me out!

  • bonestock94

    This depresses me, I hope the guy takes an incentive laden contract with the Yanks.

  • Sleepy Carl

    The 2006 year where he was 19-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 218 innings despite a 3.14 k/9 is one of the most remarkable things I have seen. That will no be duplicated anytime soon.

  • Matcohen

    He had a foot injury and the Yanks told him not to exercise his legs. He wasn’t pitching properly as a result. The Yanks didn’t realize it. He injured his shoulder because he needed to use his arm more because his legs were weak (remember the no leg exercise).

    The Yank hardly covered themselves in glory on this one.

    • steve (different one)

      you’re making a lot of assumptions here.

      remember, Wang was plagued with shoulder injuries through the minors. he had shoulder surgery previously, and i believe he had issues in 2005.

      i would also surmise that the Yankees’ approach to a long term contract with Wang suggests that there was more to his medicals than we knew of.

      so, we really don’t know. and it’s not really true that the yankees told him not to exercise his legs. they told him to ride a bike instead of running.

      but that probably conflicts with the whole we on the internet know more than the yankees meme.

      • Matcohen

        I don’t think that I know more than the Yankees – it’s not my job to be on top of the recovery of a pitcher who can win 19 games a year. It’s the Yankees’ job and they pretty clearly screwed it up. Wang was not ready to pitch in 2009. His delivery had changed. Everything was off. And yet out he went. And he got injured. I draw my conclusions from that. You draw yours.

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

          You say your job doesn’t involve staying on top of Wang’s rehab but you’re more than willing to, based on no knowledge whatsoever, accuse the Yanks of not doing it. Remember, Wang’s spring training was fine; his rehab on his foot was going a-ok. Then, he lost his effectiveness during the season, and we noticed his changed delivery. Perhaps, he injured his shoulder at the end of camp and changed his deliver because of it. We just have no idea that it was related to his foot, and the spring training success would suggest otherwise.

          Anyway, if you really want to go back in time, his motion and release point had changed in 2008. His collapse was a long time coming, in my opinion.

  • Renny Baseball

    Good job, guys. Some good insights in these postings. Agreed on wishing the best for Chien-Ming, +40. And thanks to him for giving us some great years. Am wide awake. I think, after Friday, we’re down to 68 days to pitchers and catchers.

  • Joltin’ Joe

    It might be time to revisit the whole DH-for-all-interleague games thing soon.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

      Umm . . . no. You cant change the rules or how you use your roster based on one freak injury.

      Brian Bruney got the exact same injury pitching off a mound, should we change all the mounds now too?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada


      • steve (different one)

        actually, he hurt his foot running to cover first on a wet field during a night they shouldn’t have been playing.

        so, in a way, that was avoidable too.

        not that i disagree with your larger point.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

    On a side note, Ken Davidoff is a pretentious turd.

  • Januz

    It is sad to see Wang’s Yankee career end that way, but he got a ring, and he did his country proud (As did Matsui). What might be their strongest attributes, is the way they conducted themselves with honor and pride (Like Jeter and Mariano do (Guys even admired by Gammons and the Red Sox Nation). I tip my cap to them.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      What might be their strongest attributes is the way they conducted themselves with honor and pride… I tip my cap to them.

      But not to that crazy uppity ungrateful communist lefty pinko hypocrite nutjob fuckface Carlos Delgado, eh?


      I say the 5 of us get together and beat the shit out of him.

      Loyal Right-Wing Americans Sal, Bo, Grant, and Lanny

      • Januz

        My feelings and opinions of Delgado are an entirely different matter (I simply don’t want him on the team (His influence on Latin American players in the Met Clubhouse, made Willie Randolph’s job exponentially more difficult, and his disrespect for “God Bless America” is simply icing on the cake)). What was great about the 2009 Yankees, was the fact they were likable: CC, Tex, Jeter, Mariano, Wang, Matsui, and the rest were credits to the Pinstripes (Even A-Rod was on his best behavior after he came back). The dynasty teams had guys you could not stand: Clemens, Leyritz, Knoblauch, Gooden, Strawberry etc (Wife beaters, cheaters etc). That difference is what made 2009 special. I don’t want the Delgado’s or Milton Bradley’s on the team to ruin it.

        • Whitey14

          Until Delgado refuses to make money in America, he should Goddamn well stand during the song. Nobody is asking him to sing along. Many thousands of people died to give people from all over the world, not just Americans, the right to visit this free country of ours and in thousands of cases, earn a paycheck too.

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

            Please just get over it already. He’s stopped not standing for GBA years ago. It’s a non-issue. This is such a dumb argument. Let’s hate on a baseball player because he didn’t stand up due to his perfectly valid political convictions.

            Plus, Whitey, if he’s making money in America — “this free country” — that also means he enjoys the protections of the U.S. Constitution, right? Try reading it, especially that whole First Amendment to it.

            • Whitey14

              The fact that he’s making money in America isn’t what affords him the protections established in the Constitution, it’s the fact that he’s an American citizen.

              Also, I’ve read the Constitution, probably when you were still in diapers. I may not know it as well as you do, since you’re in Law School, where it’s much more pertinent, but I do know it affords me the same rights it affords Delgado. Therefore, I can freely say, he’s an asshole.

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

                Do you think everyone who disagrees with you politically is an asshole? That’s a great way to make an argument.

                You disagree with him politically; neither he nor you are an asshole.

                • Whitey14

                  Absolutely not Ben, I’m a moderate Republican, but a huge Springsteen fan. He and I disagree on lots of political issues, but I don’t think he’s an asshole. However, at the time this story was making the news I didn’t appreciate his disrespectful actions and I’ve never seen any actions on his behalf that make me want to forgive him.

                  Nancy Pelosi is an asshole though….

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    Peter Abraham is in tears…

  • crapula

    f’ing interleague play. I have been angry about that injury since it happened. It sucks for an AL pitcher to have his career take a swan dive because he was running the bases. Enough with this interleague crap. Maybe just your “rivals” (Mets) once or twice a season but not the whole damn NL. It’s got to stop.

  • yankees=warriors

    I’ll always thank him for introducing me to MLB, but that’s about it.
    Good luck to him elsewhere!

  • RCK

    This makes me really sad. I am going to miss Wang.

  • http://dontbringinthelefty.blogspot.com Lucas A.

    Certainly sad news. I wish Chien-Ming the best of luck.

  • Accent Shallow

    I’m going to echo the thoughts of just about everyone in this thread and wish Wang well, and hope that the Yankees sign him to some sort of incentive-laden contract.

  • Reggie C.

    This is exactly how I wanted and expected the Yanks to handle this situation. If the Yanks want to address depth concerns, i’m pretty sure Mitre and Gaudin could step in and pitch as effective as Wang. Wang is vulnerable to any number of setbacks.

    The brass might have just saved $5 mm that it can now proceed to re-allocate to DH. Hopefully, these dollars bridge the gap with Matsui.

  • GK

    Sounds like an obituary.

  • steve (different one)

    part of the reason this is so sad is because we, as yankee fans, rarely have to experience losing a fan favorite.

    but this is what it feels like to root for most teams. you get attached and as soon as they get close to FA, they’re gone.

    doesn’t happen much to us. which is nice.

    hopefully Wang comes back to us, but if not, hopefully Torre doesn’t finish him off for good.

  • wang’s fan

    there are some wrong information in this posting:
    1. After undergoing foot surgery last year: there is not surgery actually.
    2.they(yanks) went to arbitration with him after the 2007 season over a matter of $800,000 :it’s 600,000.
    3.and then saw his sinker ball lose its effectiveness during the first half of 2008 : he actually had a very good start at the begining of 2008,went 6-0 for the first 8 or 9 starts with ERA only 2.+.

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

      Going 6-0 with a 3.00 ERA for his first seven starts as Wang did in 2008 has nothing to do with the ineffectiveness of his sinker ball. His ground ball rate was way off as was his release point. The sinker was inconsistent at best before his injury, and he couldn’t find it again after his injury.

  • claybeez

    I knew it was coming, but I’m certainly disappointed. Wang was a bright light, along with Cano, when the team desperately needed to find its way. I understand that this makes sense business-wise, but it bugs me that the team helped create the problem (Meachem; telling him not to build leg strength in the off-season) and seems to feel little responsibility to correct it. I’m not 100% sure what earns a player that kind of respect, but my guess is it’s an A-Rod, Tex or CC-size contract.

  • Whitey14

    Yankees no longer have Wang
    Yankees say goodbye to Wang
    Yankees severe ties with oft-injured Wang

    I’d like to see him sign with Boston as a reclamation project just to see if some of you guys will really wish him luck wherever he ends up ;-) Plus, we still need pitching. (and hitting, and defense, and …..)

  • Pingback: Open Thread: The night of tenders | River Avenue Blues

  • http://theyankeemanager.blogspot.com/ Francis Isberto

    The Yankees must be conservative and practical when it comes to budgeting payroll. Chien-Ming Wang is not worth $ 4 million. Being injured for two consecutive years lowered Wang’s value and it is best for the Yankees to let him go.

    The Yankees would be better off if they spend the $ 4 million to starting pitching or additional arm in the bullpen.

    If nobody gets Wang (which I don’t think will happen), the Yankees could bring him back with a lower salary.