Dec
14

Wang’s in no rush to sign

By

Chien-Ming Wang chuckin'Last week was a pretty eventful one for the Yankees, who brought back Andy Pettitte and added two players to their outfield while trimming the fat in the bullpen. The weekend was just as eventful for ex-Yanks’ ace Chien-Ming Wang, who was handed his walking papers on Saturday night. Six teams (three AL, three NL) immediately expressed interest in the sinkerballer, though the Yanks tried to woo him back with a split contract that guaranteed he’d be in the big leagues once his surgically repaired shoulder was good to go.

Despite all the interest in the former Cy Young runner up, Buster Olney is reporting that Wang might not sign for a few months according to his agent, Alan Nero. His client’s plans for the immediate future including getting checked out by Dr. James Andrews in early January, heading to Taiwan for some R&R, then returning to Arizona to keep working out. Doesn’t sound like the agenda of someone desperate to find a job.

Waiting until early in the season – or even midseason – to sign a contract is one of the newest trends hitting baseball these days. We’ve seen Roger Clemens successfully pull it off numerous times, and Pedro Martinez did the same thing with the Phillies this season. There’s also another guy that tried to pull this off in 2009, though things didn’t go so well for him: Ben Sheets.

Sheets started the offseason as one of the most sought after free agent pitchers, then had a little bit of a setback that was going to push his 2009 debut back, and before you knew it he was having elbow surgery that would sideline him the entire season. Shoulders are much trickier than elbows (remember, there wasn’t any ligament damage in Sheets’ elbow), but if Wang is confident in his health and his ability to recover, then he should (in the words of his agent) “be prudent” and explore what’s out there for him.

Teams will surely be looking for rotation help in March and April and May, and Wang will likely be the best available pitcher on the free market. And, of course, he won’t be ready until basically mid-season anyway, so it makes sense for him to remain patient and see what’s out there. Nero said Wang could eventually re-sign with the Yanks, and if a scenario plays out in which Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain is struggling, or one of the front three is on the shelf, or basically anything that would open a gaping hole in the rotation, then suddenly that split contract could turn into a Major League guaranteed deal worth more than it might be right now.

Hopefully for Wang, who I’m certain has made millions in endorsements, it’s the right decision.

Photo Credit: Reuters

Categories : Hot Stove League

51 Comments»

  1. Salty Buggah says:

    It’s probably the right decision (barring something really odd) for Wang not to sign prematurely. Wang should take his time as that’s probably the best for all parties involved.

  2. A.D. says:

    Nice little gamble for Wang & Nero to make sure he doesn’t have to go back to the minors.

  3. vin says:

    Wang not wanting to sign early tells me that he’s very confident that his shoulder will fully recover. If he had any qualms about it, then I would think that he would take whatever guaranteed cash he can get and hope for the best.

  4. Mike44 says:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/b.....lphia.html

    Halladay and his agent are in Philly today. Working on a deal that would allegedly send Cliff Lee to a 3rd team. Prospects from the Phillies and the third team would go to Toronto.

    • jsbrendog says:

      chien ming wang. not halladay.

    • Tom Zig says:

      1. Off topic
      2. Why would the Phillies do this???

      • Salty Buggah says:

        1. Agreed
        2. I don’t why either because you’re not really improving the team much by removing Lee and adding Roy. I guess it’s because they can sign Halladay long-term but aren’t sure about Lee. Also, they won’t lose many prospects as they will trade the ones from the 3rd team

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Heymans’s Twitter…SI_JonHeyman: 3-way trade agreed to with halladay going to phils, cliff lee to mariners. phils trying to lock up roy now.

      WOW, is that crazy or what?

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      If there’s substance to this and it shows the markings of it going down, you can bet there will be a post on it. But please, until then (or the open thread at 7pm), refrain from posting off-topic.

      Part of the reason RAB works so well is because the commenters keep things largely in focus.

      Thanks for the info though.

  5. The longer Wang waits, though, the less likely it is that someone gives him a guaranteed major league deal.

    Teams have spots to fill and plans to make. If you’re not ready to sign, they’ll fill that spot with someone else.

    Teams will still be interested in Wang in January/February, sure, but they may have full 40-man rosters and only be willing to give him a ST NRI.

  6. DH=Dime a dozen says:

    As mentioned on this site numerous times. Even before Wangers Freak lisfranc injury his numbers were on a steady decline. And even when he was our ace, we kept on saying that his alarmingly low strike out numbers were just a recipe for disaster.
    Even though I own a Wang jersey, I’m not nearly as upset as I thought I would be upon hearing this news.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      I’d like to echo much of this sentiment. His peripherals should have always been a bit of a concern. Now, given that he’s a sinkerballer, it’s not that concerning; I don’t think it’s a recipe for disaster.

      Mo pitches to contact (which I realize is an extreme example, but a prudent one nonetheless), and it works because the contact generated is quite feeble. An extreme groundball pitcher in a hitter’s park is a great asset to have.

      Still, he’s had a lot of health concerns, and if his sinker isn’t as effective as it was before, he’s going to REALLY struggle. So whatevs. Pass on that risk unless it comes really cheap and you’re not guaranteeing him a 25-man spot that may be very valuable.

      • KK says:

        His peripherals actually didn’t change much from his great 2006 to 2008 (until his freak injury). Strikeouts went up, GB rate was similar, WHIP was still 1.3, same number of HR/AB. I think last year was him coming back a bit too early (and since when is wanting to play a problem?) Statistically, 2008 was shaping up to be his best year, too (though the ERA didn’t show it), so I think that once his mechanics are tweaked, he’ll go back to the guy who pitches 200 innings with a sub-4 ERA (which is easily worth more than the 4 to 5 million they could have tendered him for)

        I think that he’d actually be better now than in 2006 (if he gets his sinker back) since the Yanks finally have a legit 1B who can field, and Cano has made strides at 2B.

    • Benny C says:

      I think that the problem was tha Wang was trying too hard to become a strikeout pitcher to quiet his critics and prove that he was an ace. In reality, that is exactly what he should not have done … who cares if you strike out 1 or none per game, if you have an ERA under 3 and your teammates field their positions.

      • Benny C says:

        and Joe Dumbardi didn’t help matters when he put Wang’s rotation spot on the line … after they prohitibited him work on his leg strength in spring training … so he tried to compensate more and more by throwing harder with his arm .. and messed up his shoulder. He deserves better and should go to a classier org such as the Dodgers with Torre and Mattingly.

  7. Hughesus Christo says:

    You know what? He screwed us last year by lying about his health, and he’s going to try to screw someone else now. REHAB IN THE MINORS, NOT MLB. Plain and simple. I don’t care if he doesn’t like it… do it or get lost.

  8. larryf says:

    If Grittner doesn’t stick, we’ll bring Wang back as a pinch runner. Love the way he goes 2nd to home!

  9. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    I don’t want to be a dick, but I don’t know what goes through Wang’s agents head.

    /Beating a dead horse’d

  10. Rose says:

    The only Asian we should focus on right now is Matsui!!

    And maybe Tia Carrerre (where has she been by the way??)

  11. Steve H says:

    Don’t blame him. Never want to rush an injured Wang back into action.

  12. Mac says:

    Phils, Ms, Blue Jays Agree On Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

  13. Pat Moran says:

    Roy Holliday going to Phils and Cliff Lee goin to SEATTLE.. wow

  14. Rose says:

    Halladay going to Phillies, Cliff Lee going to Mariners, Prospects to Blue Jays…not sure which ones.

    Also, Sox officially signed Lackey.

    Why the hell would the Phillies trade Cliff Lee for Halladay? I’m still trying to understand this…Halladay may be better…but not to the point where this makes any sense or was even necessary.

  15. Jake H says:

    Hopefully Wang wil come to his sense and have the Yanks sign him to a split contract. But if not hopefully he plays well for an NL team.

  16. DP says:

    Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee traded. Even though everyone on here reads MLBTR, and like 5 other people I’ve said it, I wanted to break this news to everyone!

  17. Mike Axisa says:

    We have a Halladay thread up, please continue this discussion there.

    http://tinyurl.com/y8jn6fa

  18. Wang’s 1st priority is to get well. His 2nd priority is pitching consistently. If he doesn’t do that, no team in the majors will offer him a contract.

    If he comes back to his old form,the Yankees will be one of the teams that will go after him. His sinker is one the best in baseball and a double play pitcher is hard to come by.

  19. younguns says:

    Wang’s top priority is definitely to become fully healthy again, & that means staying away from the Yankees & their “rehab” program.

    There’s no way in hell that Alan Nero will subject his client to another round of medieval quackery, as in when Wang was told in the 2008 off-season by the Yankees to NOT work on conditioning his legs.

    There will surely be teams in contention, midway through the 2010 MLB season, which will crave starting pitching. Pedro is living testimony to this point & to believe that a starting 5 pitching staff on any team will go through a season without injuries is the rare exception.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Wang ended up with an AL rival & helped them into the post-season at the expense of his old team?

    They say talk is cheap, but so is being non-tendered by the NYY…

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