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Nats reach deal with Wang

[UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.]

Throughout the first portion of the offseason, the Washington Nationals remodeled their team by signing a half-dozen free agents, each serving a particular purpose and place. But the Nationals, on Tuesday, opted for a far different strategy in making what is likely their final major move of the winter, signing a pitcher whose payoff is both hard to project and tantalizing to imagine.

Chien-Ming Wang is less a purchase than a gamble. The former New York Yankees ace, now trying to recover from shoulder surgery, agreed Tuesday to a contract with the Nationals, according to a team source. Terms were not immediately disclosed, but various media reports -- speculating in recent days about Wang's imminent signing -- have estimated that Wang will receive $2 million, with performance incentives totaling another $3 million.

Washington plans to announce the signing at a news conference Friday at their spring training headquarters in Viera, Fla., stamping the official pitcher-catcher report date with a celebrated arrival.

But predicting Wang's role with Washington beyond that requires some guesswork.

If the right-hander regains his form, he becomes a relative bargain. Few pitchers in the organization can match his track record, after all. Between 2006 and 2007, no pitcher in baseball won more games than Wang (38). The sinkerball specialist, who turns 30 on March 31, has a lifetime 55-26 record and a 4.16 ERA.

Within the last two seasons, though, Wang lost his stature as a front-line starter. He had trouble staying on the mound, problems equally attributable to injuries and opposing batters. In June 2008, he tore a tendon in his right foot and missed the rest of the season. In 2009, he had an early disabled list trip because of hip abductor muscle weakness. Then came the big one -- right shoulder surgery, performed in late July by orthopedist James Andrews.

The Yankees non-tendered Wang in December, following a season in which he earned $5 million but pitched just 12 games, going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA.

Barring any injury setbacks, Wang could be ready to take the mound -- presumably in a minor league rehab stint -- in May. His condition, and his ability to regain his pitching touch after the shoulder procedure -- one of the harder tricks for a pitcher -- will foretell much about the competence of Washington's starting rotation.

As it stands now, the Nationals will search during spring training from a group of five or six unestablished starters to fill the last spot or two of their rotation.

But a healthy Wang, Manager Jim Riggleman says, "gives us the opportunity to add a pitcher in May or June and it's like, 'Wow, it almost feels like we just made a great [midseason] trade.'"

Riggleman, speaking Tuesday afternoon, qualified his comments on Wang by saying that he hadn't been officially told of the signing. He had only read media reports. Still, Riggleman recalled seeing Wang from the opposing dugout in 2008 as Seattle's bench coach, where he heard Mariners hitters marvel at Wang's best pitch.

"I know the comments that our hitters would make about him -- the quality of his sinker," Riggleman said. "Not only does his ball sink; he throws very hard. Just really, at that point in his career, hitters were saying it was like hitting a bowling ball."

Although Wang received a one-year contract, the Nationals, if they chose, own his rights through 2011. Next winter, the Nationals can either renegotiate a contract with Wang or use the arbitration process to determine his salary. Or, of course, they can non-tender the pitcher, again returning him to the free agent market.

In some ways, Wang already fits the Washington-pitching profile. The Nationals have assembled a cadre of starters -- Jason Marquis and John Lannan, in particular -- that depends on ground ball outs as much as any staff in the league. At his best, Wang is a ground ball pitcher with few peers. Within the last 10 years, only six starting pitchers have recorded single seasons with groundball-to-flyball ratios higher than 3:1. Wang did that in 2006, when his grounder-to-flyout ratio was 3.06.

"At his best," said Washington reliever Brian Bruney, a teammate of Wang's in New York, "he's a guy that is gonna give you a run for the Cy Young every year; that's how good his stuff is. And hopefully that's the Wanger we're getting. Because that would be a good addition to any ballclub."

By Chico Harlan and Dave Sheinin  |  February 16, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
 
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Next: Wang contract details, arbitration cases

Comments

Let the Wang jokes begin!

Until the throws his forst pitch we can hope he has returned to form, can't we???

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?

Couldn't resist.

Posted by: WebberDC | February 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

the bullpin is starting to look decent and in 2 years Nats will be a contender. I like the fact that the Nat Management have not resigned to let this team be a perineal gutter team. they want to bring a winner to DC, Thanks leners!

Posted by: cgshelton | February 16, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Wow....at least,, wow based on the past
Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo2 | February 16, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

One more:

Ask Wang. He'll tell you. We just bought property behind the Great Wall. On the good side!

Posted by: WebberDC | February 16, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Let the Wang jokes begin!
--------------------
I can't take credit for this, but it has to be the POTD from the chat on MLBTraderumors.com..."Wang should be a nice fit in the Nationals' 2-hole. They had just better hope that he has enough stamina to go the distance."

Posted by: twinbrook | February 16, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a great signing but given his history the Nat's had better handle Wang carefully or this signing could end up blowing up in their faces.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Given rehabilitation starts ... potential problems rehabbing ... one shouldn't depend on seeing Wang until after the all-star break.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

wangchuckit

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 16, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Ewwww eeeee ewwww ahahahahah wingWang wollla wolla big wang wah! -- Witch Doktor

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of letting the jokes begin, a repost:

Would be hilarious if Rizzo introduced Wang with a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation.

Posted by: shanks1 | February 16, 2010 12:29 PM
_________________________________________

And if Wang showed up at the presser with a camera around his neck...


Posted by: TimDz | February 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of letting the jokes begin, a repost:

Would be hilarious if Rizzo introduced Wang with a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation.

Posted by: shanks1 | February 16, 2010 12:29 PM
_________________________________________

And if Wang showed up at the presser with a camera around his neck...

Posted by: TimDz | February 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------
... wearing golf gloves and Judge Smails' striped fedora ....

Posted by: shanks1 | February 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe not, but one thing about signing injury-longshots--the numbers are in your favor the more you sign. Chances that one or two are recovered and good starters improve with judicious stockpiling. And if they don't, you're not out much.

*********
Other than that they are betting on injured (some seriously) guys to come back? Chico, Olsen, Wang, JZimm, and even Stammen. This can't possibly inspire anyone's confidence that a .500 season is in the offing?
Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 12:31 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I know it puts a kink in the Caddyshack link but my friend the Yankees fan assures me that Wang actually pronounces his name "Wong" - here's hoping our Nats made the wight choice in signing him.

Posted by: natslifer | February 16, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@natslifer:

You're not suggesting that Al Czervik couldn't have been mispronouncing his guest's name, are you? :)

Posted by: WebberDC | February 16, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

At least we know Nats Town is not "restricted".

Posted by: MBUSA | February 16, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=171FURqSIQc

Posted by: MBUSA | February 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wang is indeed pronounced "wong" or "won" (depending on whether you have a southern accent or not.) Wang is an unfortunate joke-of-an-transliteration perpetrated by a long-dead German who traveled to Canton and thought that their pronunciation was standard. Of course, it doesn't help that the Germans pronounce Wang closer to the original, while English pronunciation is different.

back to your daily arguments...

Posted by: swang30 | February 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

From "the Bog":

Apparently Bowden strongly agrees with the "Lerner's are cheap" crowd?

"I had to trade for Elijah Dukes in Washington," Bowden said, while discussing what small-market teams must do to succeed. "We couldn't afford to go get a $10 million outfielder, so we traded an A-ball pitcher for a guy that's been arrested I don't know how many times. When we went into the room and talked to our owners about the deal, I told the owners straight out, I said 'This guy has as good a chance of landing in jail as he does an All-Star game, but he could land in either one. We should take this chance.'

"But in a ***small market***, what's the choice? If you don't make the trade, who's gonna play right field? And that's the question that has to be asked, and that's why small markets take the gamble. Do you want to roll over and just quit? Do you want to just give up, because you don't have the money to compete, or do you want to find a way to compete? GMs in small markets have to try to find a way."

A very interesting Skype video with Bowden posted on the Bog. Recommended viewing for all.

One small market GM, I paraphrase: "You must avoid the seven, eight 11 year losing cycles. To do this you must be aggressive. You trade good players before their contract is up for highly talented close to major league prospects. You usually end up with more talent than you had."

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is that pronounced "Swongthirty" or "Swangthirty"?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 16, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If you are building for the future, why bother with a 1 year deal on a reclamation project?!?!?!? The Nats may not have him pitching until June so you have 4 months of service? This isn't a $2 mill deal when you only get 2/3 of a season.

Just don't see much upside on a 1 year. Where is the $5 million option at least for year 2????

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't mind it--especially at the price. The guy's career is 55-26 and he's still young (supposedly).

But I really hope this cavalcade of mediocre players and has-beens don't send all our young talent (Desmond, Detwiller, Maxwell AND Bernadina) to AAA.

I'm a season tix holder, and I want SOME young upside on the field this year. I can wait for Stras and Storen, but guys like Maxwell, Desmond and Detwiller have their feet wet.

TALK NATS WITH ME!!!
http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=124&t=987451

Posted by: CJArlington | February 16, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

dmac:

Wang has less than 5 years of ML service - once signed, he's under team control until 2011.

Posted by: BinM | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

BTW the Caddyshack analogy is priceless.

"We're buying property together...on THE GOOD SIDE"

Posted by: CJArlington | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

It took Mark Zuckerman to explain it is essentially a 2 year deal.

Mark writes: Wang will remain under the Nats' control in 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player. He can't become a free agent until after the 2011 season.

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, count me as psyched about signing Wang. Just imagine for a moment if Olsen returns to 2006 form, Matt Chico is indeed throwing in the 90's again and still has the same bulldog mentality he had when he was throwing 83 and Wang returns to the same form that made him a 19 win pitcher twice. Sure, its not likely all those things will happen, but I bet at least one of them does and it is possible all three could. It's springtime, let's be optimistic before reality sets in!

Posted by: brewer1 | February 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I understand no matter his shoulder situation, Wang plans on being at the park to give out free bowls of soup on the first hat day.

Posted by: natslifer | February 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BinM!

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

dmac, Wang can't be a free agent until after 2011. Nats would control him for next season no matter what, he could go to arbitration after this coming year if they couldn't do a deal.

As for the Bowden thing, it is completely ridiculous. First, he considers Detroit a "big market." Sounds like JimBo just considers budget a proxy for market size.

Second, I love this gem:

"I had to trade for Elijah Dukes in Washington," Bowden said, while discussing what small-market teams must do to succeed. "We couldn't afford to go get a $10 million outfielder, so we traded an A-ball pitcher for a guy that's been arrested I don't know how many times."

Funny how JimBo conveniently forgets about his love affair with Kearns.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Because the young arms aren't going to throw 200 innings each; at least we'd better hope they don't. It's worth having something to look forward to, whether they start slow, medium, or hot). If he's good, then there's a reason to watch every fifth day or so, even if they're 20 games out, and maybe around next year. If he isn't any good, well, the Lerners are out some money. No big deal.

********
If you are building for the future, why bother with a 1 year deal on a reclamation project?!?!?!? The Nats may not have him pitching until June so you have 4 months of service? This isn't a $2 mill deal when you only get 2/3 of a season.
Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:08 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 16, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Can you imagine what the rotation will look like at the beginning of June with:

Marquis
Lannan
Wang
Olsen
Strasburg

That is very cool especially that could be the rotation for 2011 too!

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

What am I talking about. Here is the 2011 rotation!

Marquis
Lannan
Wang
Zimmermann
Strasburg

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Cil: I think to be fair to Bowden, big market is defined by what a club spends. Detroit spends in the top 5, no way someone can call them anything other than big market with those kind of Dollars flying to make a roster. And Bowden had no Willingham when he made the Dukes deal, so he was not cheating on his mancrush Kearns as there was room at the other corner for Austin. Just sayin'.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"We couldn't afford to go get a $10 million outfielder"

That's because you locked up Austin Kearns for that amount you dope!!!

Posted by: JDB1 | February 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Let me be the first Taiwan expat on NJ to say, Wang Chien-Ming, Welcome to DC!

And yes, Wang is pronounced 'won' with a short uptone, as in 'won?'

And us Mandarin Chinese native speaker always put last name in front of given name. Think Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Now back to your regular Nats programming...

Posted by: deposetejada | February 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And just in time for New Year!

"Tiger" would be good.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 16, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Wang is only 29. And a sinkerballer. If they can carefully, gingerly bring him back to full throttle they have a guy who can help them for 2-4. Its worth a flier as KLaw said.

Note that he is placed in the 2-hole or 3-hole. The 1-hole, 2-hole is empty ... that's where a JZimm, a Chico, and Strasburg would go.

I do wish they would replace that idiot Ladson with Zuckerman. The guy is moron. Strasburg starts right out of camp? ... not used to cold April's ... a guy who didn't pitch 200 innings in his entire college career!! Only Holder did that with his 240 as UGA's ace. And you expect him to go out and pitch every 3 or 4th day in April?

Ladson you and your money would soon be parted.

And this is why I believe that Rizzo should have pulled out all the stops to get an ace like Matt Cain. And wow, the Pecotus sees a .500 season for SF with Lincecum, Cain, Baumgardner ...
I can't seen how they don't win more?

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

dfh, I understand what you are saying about Detroit; but I think you are making my point. Detroit is hardly a thriving "market." But the team decided to make an investment in their team and spend big with signing bonuses (e.g., Verlander, Porcello), trades (e.g., Cabrera), and free agents (e.g., Pudge, Rogers), and the attendance followed. And their upside revenue potential is much much smaller than the Nats'. If they are a "big market" team they are a big market team because they willed themselves to be one. They didn't whine about made-up, artificial constraints on their budget.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 16, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

ZNN was the #2 starter last year. When he comes back in '11, he'll be #5. That, my friends, is progress.

'11 rotation

Strasburg
Wang
Marquis
Lannan
ZNN

In the immortal words of Steve Francis, "Nice."

Posted by: sec307 | February 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a great signing but given his history the Nat's had better handle Wang carefully or this signing could end up blowing up in their faces.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 16, 2010 1:28 PM |
-------------------------------------------

Is this a Wang joke or a serious comment? I can't tell.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I remember all the Asian fans that came out to watch Yao Ming at Verizon when the Rockets were in town.

I would expect a nice following around Wang too for games he pitches in Washington DC.

From a marketing standpoint, the Nats may get an extra 500 seats sold for the 9+ games Wang will appear in home games. Maybe he pitches in a few more than 9 games at home. That should equate to a couple $100,000 of extra revenue.

The only people upset right now are JD Martin, Ross Detwiler, Garrett Mock, Matt Chico, and Craig Stammen because it appears 1 roster spot will be taken by Mr. Wang in May/June of this season and 1 pitcher will go to the bullpen or back to AAA.

My other thought is Riz has a "trade" now to put together and surprise us all.

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Good thing the Nats didn't jerk Wang around during contract negotiations too much.

Of course maybe Wang will shrink up if he has to perform in cold conditions.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

CiL: Not to be defending Bowden, but the budget constraints placed upon him were not made up. You are dead right, Detroit ownership made a big financial commitment (one which the Lerners have yet to be willing to make) and Dombrowski had freedom to go get guys. Bowden never had that luxury. It is not his fault that he had no budget. If he were given double the money every year, if nothing else there would have been leather jackets and vests to go with the pants.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

DFH21 - Bowden wasted the payroll with big raises to guys like Kearns and pickups like LoDuca so there is plenty of blame to go around.

Rizzo seems to be doing fine with his budget constraints now that he doesn't have Kearns salary around his neck.

Wait till he gets rid of $8 mill from Guzman's salary at the end of this year.

NatsTown is looking a lot better. When can we put the past behind us and take the name Jim Bowden out of a conversation about the Nats?

Rizzo is really impressing. I do expect a trade coming. Maybe not now, but certainly by the trade deadline.

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing more useless than an injured Wang.

I was always a big Matt Chico fan and would love to see him make this team, but does anyone have any information on hows he is throwing now or is at all pure speculation at this point?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

dfh, again agreed. My concern is more with those setting the budget constraints, as is I think yours. Detroit is a shining example of why the supposed need to set those constraints is made up.

It's funny how a few years ago, you could barely turn around without hearing Kasten trumpet Detroit and how they turned things around after 119 losses. Now, not so much. I guess he forgot about the part where Detroit had to make a serious commitment and investment in order to turn things around. It wasn't magic.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 16, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Could 2011 (or even September 2010?) be Strassburg, Wang, Zimmermann, Marquis, and Lannan? That (in theory) could be a top ten rotation certainly not bottom 5 which is what the Nats have been performing as ....

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Is this, dare I say, the plan coming together?

Posted by: Sunderland | February 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow.. Baseball can't start any sooner! I'm excited with all the moves we've made so far.

Wait, is Jordan Zimmermann all healed up?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

dmac: I disagree. Kearns was on a long term contract, he got a market deal for what was then expected to be (by basically everyone) an above avergae MLB RF. LoDuca was a 1 year deal that turned out badly, it was not some crippling waste of money. Guz inked a below market deal for less years than he could have gotten on the market -- his deal looks ugly now, but at the time, the signing was pretty widely hailed as a good one when it took place.

Hidsight as to Bowden only seems to go to the bad stuff in here. Why no praise for Zim, Lannan, Flores, Dunn, Harris, Dukes, Chico, Zimmermann, Willingham, Olsen, the best draft in baseball in 2007, etc.?

You are right, there is a lot of blame to go around. Bowden deserved to get canned, but the guy did not screw the franchise by himself. 27th in payroll year after year is on the Lerners, not JimBo. It is not JimBo's fault that the Lerners waited for revenue from the new park to hire real scouts, etc.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are actually not adding much if any payroll.

The expiring contracts of Dmitri Young, Austin Kearns and the trade of Nick Johnson slashed $18M from the budget.

And the team added Marquis ($7M), Pudge ($3M), Wang ($2-$5M) and Capps. If you include the other deals for Kennedy and the non-roster invitees, add another $4M.

So, there's your $18-19M back.

It's not as if this team NET is adding $20M in payroll from last year.

I think it is just a case of spending the money a bit more wisely.

While that's a good thing, there is a ceiling on this club if the Lerner's don't eventually agree to a payroll that approaches where Washington ranks as a media market nationally.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 16, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

CiL: I could not agree more. Kasten used Detroit as a model when it suited him but the Plan has not included the ahrd part for ownership; spending money.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, the earliest we'd see Jordan Zimmermann would be after the All-Star break. Hard to see a scenario where the Nat's are willing to have him stretched out, full velocity, snapping breaking balls, anytime sooner than that.

Posted by: Sunderland | February 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Get your Chien-Ming jerseys fast.

If you get a Wang jersey not only does it make you culturally ignorant but a little gay (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Posted by: alex35332 | February 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

You know what they say about what goes on behind closed doors. JimBo can run his mouth but it will never be the Lerner's style to refute it or agree with it.

You bring your owner players and get it done. From the day Kearns got here, he did nothing. A .242 batting average in his tenure with the Nats is horrible.

I blame Kearns more than I blame JimBo but this really cost the team under the Lerner's ownership. This guy was about 20% of the overall team payroll.

Now lets see if Rizzo can sign ADunn to an extension!!!!

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@Alex35332 I don't have a Ryan or a Stephen jersey, why would I get a Chien-Ming jersey? As someone earlier pointed out, Chiang, not Kai-Shek, was the last same of the nationalist Chinese leader.

Posted by: Traveler8 | February 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

So is his family name Wang than and it gets written wrong in US press? Thats confusing. Way to screw up and make me look bad American media.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"This guy [Kearns] was about 20% of the overall team payroll."


That says it all. When a guy making 9 million a year is 20% of your overall team payroll, you ain't spending nearly enough on the ML roster.

And as Leopard09 stated above they really haven't added any payroll. They got rid of the contracts of Kearns, DYoung and NJ so what they have added puts them about where they were last year, give or take a few million.

Does it appear that Rizzo is making some good moves? Yes.

Will they be better than they were the last 2 years? Yes, most likely but, after only 59 wins the last 2 years can it really get any worse?

Posted by: Section505203 | February 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@alex35332, actually I think most languages/cultures show the last name first, and English/English traditions are the minority. Yes, Wang is his family name.

Posted by: Traveler8 | February 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

JZimm probably won't be there until late August, if then ... he is 2011 if he takes the same amount of time to rehab as M. Chico. And the jury is very much in doubt as to whether M. Chico is all the way back.

It is Wang who will likely be there around the All-Star break. If he isn't he could get Rizzo canned ... ;) By the all-star break they will likely need six starters ... and one should not be Steven Strasburg. Probably should be "staged" to come up with Holder and that crew.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what's running through the mind of Shawn Estes.
He's turns 37 Thursday and didn't pitch at all last year.
I guess he just wants a good spring, then hopes he makes the team or gets DFA's and picked up elsewhere.
It's hard to see a scenario where he's pitching for the Nat's in April, and it's also hard to see someone his age toiling in Syracuse.

I guess we were the only ones willing to give him a shot?

Posted by: Sunderland | February 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@alex35332, actually I think most languages/cultures show the last name first, and English/English traditions are the minority. Yes, Wang is his family name.

Posted by: Traveler8 | February 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Okay My bad than, "Wang Jersey get your Wang!"

Posted by: alex35332 | February 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

From MLBTR: "The Nationals designated Doug Slaten for assignment to make room for new acquisition Adam Kennedy, according to Chico Harlan of the Washington Post (via Twitter). The Nationals picked the 30-year-old Slaten up off waivers from the D'Backs in November."

Posted by: thepostischeap | February 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Good job getting this done! Now let's see if it matters.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I want a Wang T-Shirt and I WANT IT NOW!!!!!

Posted by: Cartaldo | February 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, Wang is his family name."

Posted by: Traveler8 | February 16, 2010 3:35 PM

But if his family name is pronounced Won, or Wong, shouldn't that be the way it is spelled in English? I know there's a long history of issues regarding Anglicization of Chinese words, but still, I don't get it. His family name is actually spelled with Chinese characters. Presumably the Anglicized version should reflect how it is actually pronounced. Why not?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 16, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Brian must be really busy ... no updates on the NFA ...

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland, maybe Estes just want to play and realizes his shot at MLB is minimal, but if he does have a chance it will be with the Nats. He also might want to get into coaching so this might be a mentoring sort of stint; he might also just want to go to ST and see what he has left. Regardless, I think by the end of ST we'd know more about the long term future of Estes, but I agree that toiling at AAA doesn't sound like a plan.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

As soon as I heard the news, I started shaking uncontrollably and singing "everybody Wang Chung tonight"!

Posted by: shanks1 | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Some strong early pun efforts from bford1kb and natbiscuits in the prior post. Thanks for the laughs, guys.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

CiL,

When I got my US Visa we had to look up our names (family and given, we have no middle name) in a translation book as thick as a phone book at the US consulate. Many of the words won't sound right to our ears. For instance, Chang, does not pronounce as most American would, rather it's 'jung?' (again ? for the up-tone). It's not a concern of the State officials how they're actually pronounced in the US, I guess. But I'm sure many non-English names don't sound like the original. So really no biggie.

Now back to your regular Nats programming...

Posted by: deposetejada | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

CiL, it may be that in british english (which would be how it would be anglicized), it would sound different. That long "a" in how most americans would pronounce Wang isn't really as common a sound in proper british english (cockney not withstanding).

I'll try to remember to ask my wife tonight, who took several years of Mandarin in college. I'm sure there are some specific rules. And I do know Chinese people who spell their names W*o*ng, so there must be some reason for the difference.

Posted by: sec231 | February 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@CiL

In both Wade-Giles and PinYin, his name is anglicized as Wang. for slightly different reasons. In PinYin, it's because Wong represents a different sound, and Wang actually includes an accent over the a (I don't actually know how to type it on this keyboard.) In Wade-Giles, it's because the original German actually pronounces Wang very close to the actual pronunciation.

Posted by: swang30 | February 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is also bringing another hard working, right handed sinker ball pitcher to camp ... who is also coming back from injury: Ryan Mattheus.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@deposetejada

Chang is Wade-Giles. Zhang is PinYin. Again, in german, Ch tends to be a gutteral soft s sound, so it makes sense. PinYin is more IPA oriented.

Posted by: swang30 | February 16, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

In other news. Buster Olney is recommending FLop to the Mets... I almost died laughing.

Posted by: swang30 | February 16, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, all, for the explanations.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Once again gotta add this has been a great off season. We addressed our biggest problem the bullpen big time. Qualified closer, set up guy and a whole lot more depth some of which will be spread down to the minors. Our second biggest problem defense has been upgraded. HOFer Pudge as insurance for lingering Flores problems, more depth in the OF with Taveras(yeah he is a great backup in center for Nyjer defensively). And a very good defensive second basemen for all of our ground ball pitchers. Leading to the thrid biggest prob, SP. Marquis is better then anyone previously on our staff, win wise and leadership wise(really enjoying hearing some of his quotes, he seems intense). Wang is a previous cy young contender who could regain his old form and dominate a non AL east league, plus the futurestras. Haven't been this happy to see some ball in years. Biggest difference is that when you look at the rotation and bullpen it looks very very different then the last two years.

Posted by: Stu27 | February 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I just had to know...

Pe*ric"u*lum\, n.; pl. Pericula. [L.] (Rom. & O.Eng. Law)

1. Danger; risk.

2. In a narrower, judicial sense: Accident or casus, as distinguished from dolus and culpa, and hence relieving one from the duty of performing an obligation.

So, "periculum", how does this apply to you? Are you the danger or the accident?

Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | February 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Interesting move. I recall seeing him last year and thinking that something had to be wrong with his shoulder because he didn't have the same stuff. Unfortunately I just do not see him regaining the same velocity as before. Perhaps he can adjust to his new arm and adjust his stuff.

Posted by: Tom8 | February 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I second the thanks for the interesting transliteration info. (And I just may be too immature for my own good. ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

dmac: I disagree. Kearns was on a long term contract, he got a market deal for what was then expected to be (by basically everyone) an above avergae MLB RF. LoDuca was a 1 year deal that turned out badly, it was not some crippling waste of money. Guz inked a below market deal for less years than he could have gotten on the market -- his deal looks ugly now, but at the time, the signing was pretty widely hailed as a good one when it took place.

Hidsight as to Bowden only seems to go to the bad stuff in here. Why no praise for Zim, Lannan, Flores, Dunn, Harris, Dukes, Chico, Zimmermann, Willingham, Olsen, the best draft in baseball in 2007, etc.?

You are right, there is a lot of blame to go around. Bowden deserved to get canned, but the guy did not screw the franchise by himself. 27th in payroll year after year is on the Lerners, not JimBo. It is not JimBo's fault that the Lerners waited for revenue from the new park to hire real scouts, etc.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

dfh21,

You are of course, correct. When the FLop and Kearns trade was announced, we all (including baseball professionals) thought the Nats had a steal. Look at their numbers at the time the trade was made, their ages, their potential to contribute to the club as building blocks, etc. How could Bowden have predicted the collapse? None of the posters who are blasting the trade now had a post saying how awful the trade was, and no one is on record saying Kearns should not have been wrapped up long term for a market-rate increase.

That said, you have to realize Bowden is a scapegoat for this board. Supposedly he talked the Lerners (who were ready to be MLB-competitive) into building the club on the cheap, and asked for tiny budgets--at least according to the fans' narrative.

Now the problem is fixed with Rizzo. People are projecting 75 to 87 wins. Buy your tickets!

I am happy enough with Rizzo as a GM. He is a nice improvement over JimBo in his ability to find bargains and reclamations. But why the small budgets to begin with? That hasn't changed.

Who said, from a post above: "We can't afford a $10 million outfielder"? Have you seen what good outfielders go for these days? Not just 10 million.

Posted by: EdDC | February 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

PS LoDuca was not Bowden's "idea." I'll bet he was a consolation prize compared to the guys Bowden really wanted. The Nats had to do a little something that off-season to show a pulse. The "affordable" answer was Paul LoDuca.

Posted by: EdDC | February 16, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

This is a great signing but given his history the Nat's had better handle Wang carefully or this signing could end up blowing up in their faces.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 16, 2010 1:28 PM |
-------------------------------------------

Is this a Wang joke or a serious comment? I can't tell.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

A little from Column A and little from Column B.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

EdDC: You are sooo very right. It all comes back to the Lerners/Kasten. The fanbase needs to be all over those guys for the chincy budgets (averaging 27th in payroll for the 4 years of ownership, running flat in 2010 after back to back 100 loss seasons) on a top 10 market, new publicy financed ball park club with higher than avergae ticket and concession prices. Waiting years to field a proper front office much less a proper MLB roster? If they build a club, then people will come, but they won't do what it takes to build the freaking club. And al the while as they idle, they feel no shame in boasting to all who will listen that they are in high gear to getter done!

The idea that there is even one poster in here, much less a group, that actually argues the Lerners as being anything other than cheap blows my feeble mind to bits.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Getting Wang to agree to terms is a good gamble, imo. He was a proven winner in the AL East prior to the injuries, and if he comes back to decent form in June, can help the Nationals stabilize their starting rotation through 2011.
Possible OD rotation 2010 = Marquis, Lannan, Stammen/Mock, Olsen/Detwiler, Martis/Martin.
Post All-Star break rotation, 2010 = Marquis, Lannan, Stammen, Olsen/Detwiler, Wang.
Toss that in with a bullpen that looks to be improved over 2009, and this is starting to look like a competetive team.

Posted by: BinM | February 16, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The idea that there is even one poster in here, much less a group, that actually argues the Lerners as being anything other than cheap blows my feeble mind to bits.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, it is a large region and you can always find people who believe just about anything. You and I would have more people to support our position, but they do not go to this site. They are gone. They are among the people who do not watch the games, either in-person or on TV, as much as they used to, and naturally they are not going to post on some blog.

So what you have is a relatively few fans who think the Lerners are not cheap. But they do outnumber us on this board. You could argue that they are the ones who are the true fans, since they cheer everything.

Posted by: EdDC | February 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I want the club to give Tyler Clippard a chance to start. He did very well in long relief last year. Best stuff on the club in 2009, hands down (though, that may not be saying much). If the kid could throw something like 150 innings of that kind of baseball again, the Nats would be in a much better place. And they seem to have added some bull pen arms that could carry the load for his prior role. I think that the kid earned a shot given his strong performance last year and he's young. Why not let him give it a role in ST?

Posted by: dfh21 | February 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: thepostischeap | February 16, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"Post All-Star break rotation, 2010 = Marquis, Lannan, Stammen, Olsen/Detwiler, Wang. "

Here one assumes that both Olsen and Wang come back from their injuries ... kind of reminds one of Bowden giving Shawn chance after chance to prove he was past his injuries ...

Let's pull the guys out who cannot be relied upon and assume that with the Nats luck of late and the best they can hope for is additional setup men. Just where you seem to believe Chico fits.

2010 Rotation: Marquis, Lannan, Martin, Mock/Detwiler/Martis,
Thompson/Jaime/Balester ... maybe Chico as the most "recovered"? And perhaps Atilano.

Even Brian over at NFA lists Wang as a relief pitcher.

We should try to be honest ... in order to make an objective judgement as to whether the Lerner's are managing this franchise in the market that it is in as "small market".

The next wave of starting pitchers (2011) would probably bring in Strasburg, Holder, Karns, Meyers, and possibly Arneson.

At this point, looking at Dunn as a better replacement for Kearns from Cincinnati as well. They still should acquire a top-notch starting pitcher to complement Strasburg. Preferably a left-hander. In order to prove that the Lerners aren't running this franchise like Marge Schott's Reds.

Posted by: periculum | February 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll just dip my toes in the OD 25-man pool right now - the Starting staff holds too many variables at this point to dive all the way in. A slash (/) defines a position too close to call right now...
- 2010 Washington Nationals (2/16/10) -
Players = 13
CA: Rodriguez.
IF: Dunn(1B), Kennedy(2B), Guzman(SS), RZim(3B).
OF: Willingham(LF), Morgan(CF), Dukes(RF).
Bench: Nieves(CA), Harris(UT), Morse(CI/OF), Bernadina(OF)/Maxwell(OF), AGonzalez(MI)/Bruntlett(MI).
Pitchers = 12
ST(5): Marquis & Lannan, then three from Stammen/Mock/Olsen/Detwiler/Martis/Martin.
RP(7): Chico(LR/SpS), Clippard(LR/MR), Bergmann(MR)/Walker(MR), Guardado(LS/SU)/Burnett(LS/SU), Bruney(SU/CL), Capps(CL/SU).
DL(3): Flores(CA), Wang(SP), JZimm(SP).

Posted by: BinM | February 16, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Need to sign one more Wang (perhaps Gene could be a sub) so the team could say it has two Wangs to make it right.

Posted by: Pensfans | February 16, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

and don't forget on Chien-Ming Wang bobble-head night you get all the stinky-tofu and Hunan chicken feet you can eat....

Posted by: bromisky | February 16, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Detwiler will not bite the Wang off that Chico because the Mock from a Marquis will just cause Stammen to stam..stamm..stammen some more. There, I hope this will ends all name jokes on this blog. Oh, who am I kidding!

Posted by: JohnWWW | February 16, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

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