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Posted at 10:02 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Chien-Ming Wang is re-signed by Nationals

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals re-signed right-handed starter Chien-Ming Wang, taking a second gamble on an accomplished pitcher who hasn't thrown an official pitch since mdway through 2009.

Wang signed for a guaranteed $1 million, and he could make as much as $5 million in incentives. The Nationals signed Wang, who had finished second in Cy Young voting with the Yankees, for $2 million, only to watch him not throw a single pitch while recovering from major shoulder surgery.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 16, 2010; 10:02 PM ET
Categories:  Chien-Ming Wang  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mike Rizzo and Josh Willingham on the trade
Next: The Nationals' options at first base

Comments

First!

Wow. don't think i've ever been first before.

I like this deal. If he's healthy, we are better. Now go sign Derek Lee and trade for Edwin Jackson and we are at .500

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 16, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Pants getting back to 2.0 fundamentals in signing available free agents.

I don't think anybody knows what his arm strength is. Least of all the Nationals. Wang doesn't even know.

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

first!

Wow, I've never been first before.

I like this deal, if he's healthy, we are better. NOw go sign a 1B and trade for Edwin Jackson

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 16, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

At the moment, best case scenario for the opening day rotation would be a healthy Wang, Zimmermann, Lannan, Maya, and Hernandez. I think a healthy Wang is better than a healthy Marquis.

Zimmermann needs to throw fewer pitches (more strikes, less 3-2 counts) if he is ever going to consistently last more than 6 innings. Wang, Maya, and Hernandez can all go more than six innings if they have their pitches going.

I heard Rizzo has admitted it was unfair and a mistake to bring Maya up after only 5 minor league starts. That was pretty obvious - and pretty unnecessary. If Maya turns out to be the pitcher they expect him to be he might even be a foundation piece.

If they could sign Pavano or another starter, they are going to have an option to trade two of Stammen, Detwiler, and Lannan for a decent position player.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

From John Sickles 2009 Oakland A's ratings:

11) Henry Rodriguez, RHP, Grade B-: 5.77 ERA at Sacramento was deceptive; FIP was 4.20 and he still has the amazing K/IP ratio. I'm going to cut him some slack for one more year, but obviously he needs to get the walks down.

12) Corey Brown, OF, Grade C+: On a good day he looks like a cross between a young Kurt Gibson and Jeromy Burnitz. On a bad day he looks completely helpless. No way to know what we'll get here.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

From John Sickles August 2010 update:

11) Henry Rodriguez, RHP, Grade B-: 1.69 ERA with 31/9 K/BB in 21 innings for Sacramento, 3.52 ERA with 16/8 K/BB in 15 innings in the majors. Stuff is there, just needs to throw strikes and stay healthy.

12) Corey Brown, OF, Grade C+: 80 games, .337/.429/.537 with 10 homers, 17 steals for Midland, but .156/.207/.275 in 34 games for Sacramento. Triple-A pitching exposed his weaknesses of approach, but with his tools more chances will come.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I am not sold on Edwin Jackson, though he throws the ball hard he a pretty inconsistent pitcher..but if we are able to get him cheaply..then would not be a bad addition....also, I think they should sign Webb as well.

Posted by: Cartaldo | December 17, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Edwin Jackson would come a lot cheaper trade-wise than Garza, Grienke and perhaps even Shields. The Chisox want to shed some payroll while Jackson's salary would not be a problem for the Nats. It would add another power pitcher to the inventory perhaps without affecting the pursuit of a pitcher like Garza. The Nats have little chance at Grienke since he has blocked that trade.

Posted by: periculum | December 17, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are gone; Jason Werth is added. A net loss, hitting-wise. The Nats really need a left-handed bat at 1B, and as much as I think Derrek Lee will come back strong, just two real options are left: Adam LaRoche and (I'm serious this time) Nick Johnson.
Nobody thought NJ would come back in '09, but he did. He's at least worth a minor league deal and an invitation to spring training. Heck, DaMeat got that, and it worked out better than expected in '07.

Posted by: nats24 | December 17, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"Great deal for the A's. Corey Brown finally showed noteworthy skills in AA this year, but that was after many years of astronomical K rates and an atrocious stint in AAA. Henry is still a ways from figuring it out, if he's ever going to. When Willingham walks, the draft picks the A's get could easily match or exceed the value of Brown and Rodriguez." From Oakland's IMB/BBTF

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 17, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Tied for eleventh!

So Jason Marquis got $7.5M for not pitching last year, Wang gets *another* million bucks for not pitching this year, and maybe, if some other team doesn't beat them to it, Brandon Webb gets a couple million to not pitch. And there's Strasburg.

It's a bargain--look how much the Giants paid Zito to not pitch--and that was in the post-season, when they get time and a half. They're getting half a dozen guys for that money.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 17, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

"At the moment, best case scenario for the opening day rotation would be a healthy Wang, Zimmermann, Lannan, Maya, and Hernandez. I think a healthy Wang is better than a healthy Marquis."

But would he be better than any of the other four? Because if he is, a healthy Maya stays at Syracuse for a while.


"If they could sign Pavano or another starter, they are going to have an option to trade two of Stammen, Detwiler, and Lannan for a decent position player."

This is that Hometown Cognitive Dissonance again, I think. Stammen, Detwiler, AND Lannan might not bring a decent MLB-ready position player better than Morgan or Morse.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 17, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

I like the signing, after all they had him all last year and are in the best position to gauge his rehab

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 17, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

This is a nice signing for Rizzo (low risk, significant potential upside), but only if he lands an actual healthy front end rotation guy. They need to put a club on the field for 2011 that has a chance to win more than it loses. Given how much money they have left to spend, that is doable. Time for Rizzo to earn his money and get it done.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 17, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Let us say the sign Webb too, and trade for any of the guys being floated out there. Then lets say Webb and Wang are 80% of what the were this year and 100% next year. The 2012 season would be no other for the Nats. Invision this rotation:

Strasburg
Garza/Grienke/Carmona/Jackson
Zimmerman
Webb
Wang

Posted by: hansenjo | December 17, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess it depends on how you define decent and if it is synonymous with starting. For me, decent meant roster-able more than starting ....

But I'll admit to some diffidence ... errr .... dissidence ....(damn) .... dissonance.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 17, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

FYI

08:50 AM ET 12.17 | Zack Greinke's no-trade clause allows him to block trades to only 15 teams, setting up some intruding possibilities. [The no-trade] list includes the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, according to a major league source. However, Greinke could be traded to the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels or Detroit Tigers without his permission. The Kansas City Royals are open to moving Greinke, who has two years and a total of $27 million left on his current contract.

FOXSports.com


Posted by: hansenjo | December 17, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Is Wang's situation the most under-reported story in the history of sports? He was supposed to pitch last year, didn't, and not a word in the press. They sign him this year, no explanation of his condition last year or now, what they expect from him this year, etc., and a couple of sentences appear. What's the deal? AK, are you awake out there?

Posted by: zmega | December 17, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't always end up in best case scenarios, but when I do I prefer a healthy Wang.

Posted by: wahoo2x | December 17, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Comments:

@zmega...There have been continual updates (both by Kilgore & Sheinin) on Wang's condition since ST, last year. Maybe you just missed them.

@Those bemoaning the loss of Dunn & Willingham...The Washington Nationals play in the National League. Neither player would bring as good a return or be offered as good a contract by a NL club as by an AL club. In both cases, if (from my fingers to God's ears) the DH is suddenly done away with, both drop in value by at least 50%.

@runof1...(from previous post)your memory must not be very good. First people that WaPo (and every other newspaper) let go, during cost cutting were proofreaders and fact checkers. We live in an age of the blind leading the halt.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | December 17, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

It may be a good thing that the Nats are on Grienke's no trade list -- it means they'd likely have to extend him in order to get him. He might like the idea of adding another 3 years and $60M or so to his current deal. That would essentially give the Nats a 5 year $100M deal for him, a bargain for a Cy Young guy still in his prime and a monster step forward in Phase 2.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 17, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If we don't sign a first-line pitcher, and the results aren't in on our off-season dealings yet, I see our rotation as Zimmermann, Marquis, Wang, Lannan and Hernandez.

Zimmermann will work the flatness out of his post-Tommy John pitches and will be our #1 guy.

Marquis showed flashes of his old stuff late last year and if he stays healthy he'll probably be our #2 guy.

Wang, if he genuinely gets well (and he's had enough time now; I wouldn't think we'd have bothered to resign him if he hadn't looked pretty good to Rizzo) might be our #3 guy, and maybe even better, but that's a BIG if.

Hopefully Lannan has worked out last year's kinks and will be the Lannan of old. Remember, he used to have a REALLY low ERA and the only problem was that we couldn't score any runs for him.

And Hernandez, well, it's hard to imagine the old guy being as good as he was last year, but we can still hope, at least 'til April or so.

Maybe Maya will come through and give us a little bit of insurance in case one guy doesn't pan out, but he sure never looked like it last year. But anyway, when has ONLY one guy failed to pan out for the Nats? That snake who loves to bite us, and he has found that the juiciest meat is in our starting rotation, might have gone away but I haven't seen any indication of that yet.

How's St. Stephen doing with his rehab?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 17, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Maya is pitching lights out in winter ball. I have a feeling he will be a pleasant surprise in 2011. Don't think what we saw end of last year from him was the true Maya, given his long layoff and minimal minor league starts.

Posted by: slopitchtom | December 17, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@Ferguson:
That's a fair read on the current Starting rotation. Maya, Detwiler, maybe one or two others could challenge in Viera.

We're just under 60 days until catchers & pitchers report; A lot could change between now & then.

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't think what we saw end of last year from him was the true Maya, given his long layoff and minimal minor league starts.

Posted by: slopitchtom | December 17, 2010 10:41 AM

Totally agree - and I think he had some blister problems on his throwing hand as well. That limbo time in DR after he defected really might have thrown him off. Winter ball, spring training with Pudge and settling into a place around DC could really turn him back into the effective pitcher he was in Cuba. I don't know if he's in our first rotation, but I give him more of a chance than Wang right now.

I also think that our opening day pitcher, 1B and LF have yet to be added. We shall see...

Posted by: Kev29 | December 17, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Anyone thinking that Wang will pitch prior to July, or will pitch effectively at all in 2011, is way too optimistic.
If Wang had progressed much since September, he'd have shopped and found a better deal. He's here because we're the only one who wnated him. He won't be ready for ST, he likely won't pitch at all in MLB in 2011.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

>Maya is pitching lights out in winter ball.

Posted by: slopitchtom

Was Pants stuttering when he said this? Because if he was, that means he was lying.

Posted by: Brue | December 17, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

>If Wang had progressed much since September, he'd have shopped and found a better deal. He's here because we're the only one who wnated him. He won't be ready for ST, he likely won't pitch at all in MLB in 2011.

Posted by: Sunderland

Pants had to fight off all the contenders to get him. Bidding war. Wang will be lucky to be able to eat his soup right handed in 2011.

Posted by: Brue | December 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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