A real budget means Wang will move on


Over the past two days it has become abundantly clear that the Yankees do have a budget, and that they’ve basically reached the threshold. Since acquiring Javy Vazquez in December, Brian Cashman has told agents and reporters alike that the team had about $2 million to spend. When they signed Randy Winn for that amount and publicly declared Johnny Damon a former Yankee, they proved that the budget was no bluff. Recent reports indicate that the Yankees will focus on non-roster invites, with Marcus Thames, Rocco Baldelli, and Jonny Gomes specifically mentioned. The team’s lack of financial wiggle room also affects another oft-mentioned free agent.

Now that we’re done discussing Johnny Damon, many of us will turn to the most prolific former Yankee on the market, Chien-Ming Wang. Last time we checked, Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, sounded curiously optimistic about his client’s prospects. Shoulder surgery is no small deal, especially for a pitcher who relied on a power sinker that radar guns clocked at 95 mph. Yet Nero claims interest is strong in Wang, and that he expects “a major-league offer with a substantial guarantee and a substantial upside,” adding that he and his client would be comfortable waiting until May, Wang’s target return date, if necessary.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has the latest from Nero, who claims that a few teams are heavily in on Wang now, and could perhaps make an acceptable offer before spring training. Wang, according to Nero, is “two to four weeks behind” his normal winter schedule, though Stark notes that teams “sounded more skeptical about that prognosis.” Stark identifies the Mets, Dodgers, and Cardinals as the teams most connected to Wang.

The story hasn’t changed, really, since the last time we heard from Nero. Wang remains a considerable risk, and since he won’t return until early May at the earliest I can’t see any team offering him a deal, as Nero says, that they “can’t say no to.” What would that take, two, three million? Is there any team desperate enough for a pitcher that they’d pay two, three million for someone coming off shoulder surgery and who can’t pitch until May? Other than the Mets. Or maybe the Royals.

The Yankees appear not to have interest in retaining Wang at this point, at least on their terms. Maybe if they unloaded Gaudin’s salary they could fit Wang in the budget, but then why would you trade a healthy pitcher for one who had shoulder surgery six months ago? It’s sad to see him go, and I hope he makes a full recovery, but we’ve seen the last of Chien-Ming Wang in pinstripes.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. bonestock94 says:

    Ever since they got Vasquez it stopped really mattering to me. I mean shit, at this point they have one of chamberhughes, gaudin, aceves, and mitre available to start if anyone in the rotation can’t do it.

  2. JMK aka The Overshare's Garden Apartment Complex says:

    Cue the Taiwanese posters coming here to say how disrespected the Yankees’ treatment of Wang is.

    Back to Wang, “a major-league offer with a substantial guarantee and a substantial upside,” is not going to happen. It’s one or the other. No team will offer a big guarantee and huge incentives. It would be crazy…

    …which is exactly why the Mets would do it!

    But seriously, it’s sad to his time come to an end here, but them’s the breaks. Smart move on Cashman’s part to have been cautious with Wang for so long.

  3. Salty Buggah says:

    “the Yankees will focus on non-roster invites, with Marcus Thames, Rocco Baldelli, and Jonny Gomes specifically mentioned.”

    Damn, those are pretty good names for non-roster invitees

  4. pete luciano says:

    Gomes or Thames would be good rightys off the bench and very necessary since Winn and Granderson can’t hit righthanded. Melvin Mora could also be a good bench player, plays a lot of positions and has experience.

  5. Drew says:

    I wonder if Beane will be in on the Wangman. He probably won’t get a huge contract and if he pitches well early, that’s a heck of an asset to have. This is assuming that Wang will take a one year deal.

    • W.W.J.M.D. says:

      i think the A’s rotation is set. I see the Mets and Dodgers as better fits.

      • Drew says:

        Yeah most likely. It was probably more plausible before they signed Sheets.
        I think a crappy team could have a lot of value in Wang. Sign him to a one year deal, if he does well, you trade him for some serious talent. If not, you’re out a few mil.

        • RKelly39 says:

          The mets — at this point — should sign a beagle with a bell around its neck if it can be trained to eat innings.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i mean with how far weve come in the world i can guarantee someone could train a monkey to lob balls over the plate… you could just put a livan hernandez jersey on him and nobody could tell the difference

            low base 1 yr deal with banana incentives probably gets it done

          • The mets — at this point — should sign a beagle with a bell around its neck if it can be trained to eat innings.

            The Mets should sign one of those St. Bernard rescue dogs with barrels of brandy tied around their neck to come and save them, because the Mets are fucked.

            And when the St. Bernard dog arrives, they should drink all the brandy and then kill and eat the dog, because the Mets are hopelessly fucked.

      • A.D. says:

        I see the Mets and Dodgers as better fits.

        Especially since Wang could use the haven of the NL & those two teams pitcher-friendly parks to get back on track.

  6. jim p says:

    we’ve seen the last of Chien-Ming Wang in pinstripes

    Well, maybe for this year. If he has a strong season, he’s on a one-year deal…?

    • W.W.J.M.D. says:

      I think what you are aiming at, and correct me if im wrong, is for Wang to return in 2011. It’s a long time from now but for arguments sake, I’d say it’s possible, depending on a couple of things.

      1st, the never ending will or wont Andy retire after the season. 2nd, does Javy Vasquez return for 2011. I don’t see CC(given), AJ, Joba, or Hughes being traded, and right now i would pencil them into the rotation for the 2011 season. So i think the only way he would is if both Andy and Javy leave after the 2010 season and Cashman doesn’t sign Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb, Josh Beckeet, Matt Cain, or Ben Sheets.

  7. mustang says:

    Again I think this has a lot less to do with the budget more to do with:

    A-acquiring Javy Vazquez
    B-shoulder surgery six months ago

    Budget thing with the Yankees….too far

    • whozat says:

      Do you really think there aren’t fans out there who are whining “but…but…Wang’s UPSIDE! Mitre and Gaudin are TERRIBLE! The Yanks have money JUST PAY WANG and put Joba back in the 8th if Wang is healthy!”

      The budget argument nullifies even this. Would 2008 Wang be a good pitcher to have? Yes. Is there money to give him an MLB deal that’d compete with those that he’ll probably get elsewhere so that the Yanks can see if he’ll reach that upside? No.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      I agree that this has more to do with Javy and Wang’s injury but the budget plays a big part too. Just because they’re the Yankees doesn’t mean they don’t have a budget (I though the Winn signing proved that? Guess not to some people).

      Anyway, Wang, for what he would want and supposedly already has on the table (if it’s true that many teams are interested in him), would be too costly.

    • mustang says:

      I agree with the both of you I just think that budget is not the main thing like the heading of this thread would have one believe. I thinking a lot is being made of the Yankees holding the budget line on what some might consider luxuries on an otherwise strong team.

  8. Slugger27 says:

    2006-2008 CMW:

    sub-4.0 FIP in all 3 years
    K rate went up all 3 years
    HR rate declined all 3 years

    walk rate went up all 3 years
    LD% went up all 3 years
    GB% declined all 3 years

    hes a peculiar pitcher, tough to figure out

  9. YankFanDave says:

    “why would you trade a healthy pitcher for one who had shoulder surgery six months ago?”
    (1)because they have the pitching depth to take the risk
    (2)because Andy Pettitte will be retiring some day soon
    (3)because Javy Vazquez is already talking retirement
    (4)because Wang returning to close to his past upside is better than the best upside for Gaudin
    (5)remember Jon Lieber.
    Makes sense if it is basically a swap of Gaudin’s contract for signing Wang.

  10. Nostra-Artist says:

    Joe, as of this moment I’d agree that they’re out on Wang. But according to most reports, Wang won’t be ready to sign until April or May. One major injury to the rotation and that could change.

    That’s not very likely, though. CC, AJ, Vasquez and Pettitte have all been workhorses in recent years, and if one of Joba/Hughes got hurt, the other would simply step in. So it does appear that Wang is gone.

  11. Bo says:

    it has nothing to do with budget. it has to do with the fact that they dont think he is good.

    • They also don’t think Mitre is good.

      They think both Wang and Mitre are not good, but they wanted pitching depth and they chose to bring back Mitre and not Wang because… Mitre is easier to fit in a budget.

      I’m sure if the Yankees thought Wang wasn’t good but Wang only cost 850k, Wang would still be in pinstripes and Mitre would be out on the street. They chose the smaller upside depth pitcher for budgetary reasons.

      • Dave says:

        One guy is healthy and the other isn’t. Now was that so hard to understand?

        Yankee fans have to realize that Wang is basically done. He was a one pitch pitcher. He survived due to a 95 mph sinker like Kevin Brown. But unlike Brown, he never developed any secondary pitches. He fooled around with a slider but never trusted it. Now thanks to his shoulder his sinker is more in the high 80s as we saw last year. That’s why he was getting creamed.

  12. A.D. says:

    I don’t think the budget comes into play here, I think the Yanks are willing to spend X amount on Wang regardless of the rest of the contracts, but with what Nero has been saying, what Wang will receive > X

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