Jan
26

Will any teams offer Wang a major league deal?

By

The Yankees have bid farewell to many mainstays and fan favorites this off-season. Hideki Matsui is out in LA. Melky Cabrera has stopped in the land of ATL. Austin Jackson is losing his mind in Detroit rock city. Johnny Damon is…who knows what the hell Johnny Damon is doing? There’s one more Yankee free agent who figures to move on, the sinkerballer Chien-Ming Wang. We’ve heard intermittent updates on the progress of his shoulder and the market for his services, but we’ve yet to see anything concrete. That’s understandable, given the severity of his malady.

The latest word comes courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, who heard from Wang’s agent, Alan Nero. As expected, Nero speaks glowingly of his client, noting the fine progress in his rehab — “Everything is going extraordinarily well,” he said — and the expected volume of his contract offers. Six teams are reportedly poring over his medical records, though we’ve seen the number of supposedly interested teams as high as 15. Still, Nero believes the market is strong for his client.

“We’re anticipating a major-league offer with a substantial guarantee and a substantial upside,” he said. At this point, however, with Wang not even throwing off a mound yet, will any team really be willing to offer him a guaranteed roster spot for “substantial” guaranteed money? It doesn’t appear likely, at least not until Wang moves a bit further along in his rehab.

That doesn’t appear to bother either agent or player. They know what they want, a big guarantee, and they appear willing to wait for it. How long, exactly? Perhaps until we’re a month into the season, when teams have a better view of the landscape.

“We’re so confident with what is going to happen, if we don’t do it until May, we’re OK,” said Nero. “Whoever shows the initiative to take a little bit of risk is going to win.”

It’s probably in Wang’s best interest to continue waiting. I doubt at this point, after a horrible 2009 campaign, any teams will give Wang a deal with “substantial guarantee and a substantial upside.” It just doesn’t make any sense. He’s now more than two years removed from his last 19-win performance, and as Mike examined at length last year, Wang had issues in 2008 as well.

By May — or even April, really — there will be a contender with a rotation need. They might pay a premium for Wang at that point, since they’re down a starter. But until a situation like that arises, I doubt any team will offer a substantial guarantee. Maybe a team will offer a small base salary, say a million, and stash Wang on the 60-day DL, but if he and Nero seek a “substantial guarantee,” the waiting game might suit them best.

This might rule out the Yankees, at least for the time being. Clearly Wang will go where the money flows and the innings are plentiful, and it doesn’t appear New York has either of those in abundance. Maybe circumstances will change between now and then, but at this point I think we can safely remove the thought of retaining Wang from our collective minds.

Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • Salty Buggah

    I was going to make some more Wang jokes but I think I’ll pass as it’ll be useless for this thread.

    Anyway, goodbye Wang. I don’t think he’s a Yankee anymore. There’s probably still a 0.0001% chance but I think it’s safe to assume it’s impossible.

    • http://mlbnewsrumors.com Johnny

      Yeah, other teams have better opportunities to offer Wang, so he’s probably gone.

      He did serve the team well.

  • A.D.

    If by “substantial guarantee” they’re referring to a few million, I just don’t see it.

    There’s a chance that a team is willing to pay more if they get desperate in May, but even then Wang is very much a unknown that it doesn’t make sense to pony up a fair amount of money for.

  • Peter

    Wang was having some issues pre-foot injury. He went through a little rough patch no doubt…but he pitched well in the game before the foot injury and was pitching well in the Houston game. So maybe he was getting back on track.

    Just sad to see his career basically crumble on a fluke injury.

  • Pete C.

    I saw him get hurt, all I can say; still; is pitchers don’t belong on the basepaths?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I saw him get hurt
      All I can say, still, is pitchers
      Don’t belong on the basepaths

      /haiku’d

      • jsbrendog officially approves signing Fernando Tatis

        nicely done.

      • pete c.

        I stand corrected.

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

    They’ll just wait until something inevitable bad happens to a teams plans regarding one of their starters around May or June…and then they’ll be much more apt to take a gamble on Wang for closer to what he’s asking.

  • Mike HC

    I’m waiting if I’m Wang. Coming off the injury last year, he looked good when he was not pitching in games. His stuff was up to about 93-95, and while he basically completely lost his sinker, he still had multiple pitches with good movement on them. Just wait until he can at least show some of that to team, and someone out there will bite.

    The problem is that his new stuff didn’t exactly work that well in the getting ML hitters out department.

    • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

      The problem is that his new stuff didn’t exactly work that well in the getting ML hitters out department.

      No big deal. I doubt anyone will notice. I’m holding out for a $5M deal with $5M in incentives.

      /nero’d

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

        Too bad Boras isn’t Wang’s agent.

        “Chien Ming Wang has the body of a genetically enhanced 22 year old nanomite-aided super-soldier. He has produced at the level of Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown and deserves to be paid on the level of those fellow Hall of Fame pitchers.

        His minor leg injury has allowed him to focus on training his arm and he’s now added significant strength and throws a 100 MPH four seam fastball and a 97 MPH sinker with 18 full inches of vertical break and 20 inches of horizontal break.

        We have 20 mystery teams who have all offered contracts of significant length and dollar amount. If you’re not willing to give Wang a minimum 4 year 80M offer, insert Wang as your Opening Day starter, and unretire the number of your best player in franchise history and give the it to him in the form of an extra jersey to use as his face and underarm towel, don’t bother calling. And, if you don’t bother calling, get ready to watch as Wang singlehandedly keeps your team our of the playoffs as he goes 33-0 with a 0.00 ERA for someone else.”

        • Rose

          Johnny ‘Mnemonic’ Damon has undergone cybernetic surgery over the offseason to have a data storage system implanted in his head. This system allows him to view digital data of simulated footage of a pitcher’s pitch before it’s thrown based on the trajectory of his arm compared to previous similar pitches thrown in the past. The digital data also includes syndicated episodes of Small Wonder and Perfect Strangers. The surgery has required Johnny to wear a Robocop-style helmet which ironically came with the same Auto 9 Beretta M93r airsoft Robocop pistol which has been cleared for road games. If you are not willing to pay Johnny Damon $90M paid in gold krugerrands over 4 years time, we will have no other choice but to auction Johnny off to one of the Baseball Simulator 1000 Ultra Teams where his talents will be more appreciated.

    • A.D.

      Coming off the injury last year, he looked good when he was not pitching in games.

      It’s funny cause its true, he looked (or reported to be doing well) everywhere but major league games.

  • Bo

    Whenever he comes abck he should be headed to the NL. And if he doesnt get his power sinker back his stay in the majors will be short.

  • Meat Loaf

    I think, for the guy who had a 33 ERA through a few starts, we should give him Pettite money.

    Teams do realise he has like, a 50% chance of doing it again, right?

    • Zack

      I dont know if its 50% or not, but that’s why teams havent signed him yet. They want to make sure he’s fully recovered medically, and then see him pitch.

  • Tom Zig

    Perhaps Theo Epstein will take a flier on Wang. He loves Asian pitchers and pitchers that have a history of injuries.

    • rbizzler

      Zing.

      But seriously, what does Nero think that he is accomplishing? I guess Wang might appreciate the bravado, but he clearly hasn’t gotten any decent offers or the hype machine wouldn’t still be on blast.