Results tagged ‘ Chien-Ming Wang ’
In a move that should not have been all that surprising, Chien-Ming Wang is now a free agent.
It wasn’t that the Yankees didn’t love everything Wang did for them in their uniform, including winning 46 games in 2 1/2 years before that awful baserunning incident in Houston last June. But after seeing him struggle so mightily this season coming off that injury and heading toward season-ending surgery, Wang’s situation was just a little too uncertain.
“There’s no doubt that we had to make a tough decision,” said Yankees
general manager Brian Cashman. “We are still hopeful that our
relationship can continue, but those decisions are yet to be made.”
Had the Yankees tendered Wang a contract, they would have been bound by a rule that makes a maximum pay cut of 20 percent of the $5 million he earned in 2009 – a $4 million deal. The return on that investment is questionable, and so the Yankees will try to re-sign Wang to a lesser deal heavy in incentives.
Speaking this week to Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, it appears as though Wang will now engage all 30 teams. Nero didn’t rule out Wang coming back to the Yankees, a place where he truly is well-liked in the clubhouse and seems comfortable, but it sure doesn’t seem like a slam dunk.
Scott Boras made the rounds in Chicago yesterday, giving the writers something to chew on with Johnny Damon. Whether you read it frokm Joel Sherman in the New York Post, Mark Feinsand in the Daily News or David Waldstein in the New York Times, here’s the bottom line — Boras is drawing comparisons between his client, Damon, and what the Yankees have done and will do with Derek Jeter.
Boras’ argument, according to Sherman, is that Damon and Jeter worked so well atop the lineup in 2009, they should be viewed as a tandem. He also notes that that Damon has historic durability and that past three seasons equate well for both Damon and Jeter, and so they should be paid similarly. And Boras, of course, does not want Damon to take a pay cut from his $13 million annual salary (no one pays Boras’ commission to take a pay cut).
Here’s the problem, as I see it. The Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter. There’s no question about it, they’re going to give him one of those sweetheart deals where they pay him a lot for the future as a thank you for being the captain and leader of past teams, because they don’t want to see him getting his 3,000th hit in another uniform.
That’s fine, we all accept it, and if there’s one guy you’re going to do that to, it’s Jeter. OK, maybe they did it a little to not see Mariano Rivera — and especially Jorge Posada — in other uniforms too.
Point is, Damon doesn’t have that same cache with the Yankees. He was a very good player, a very productive player, over those four years. But he’s no franchise talent. A one or two-year deal is probably all that the Yankees are going to bring to the table with Damon. If Boras is intent on getting more, Damon is likely to be playing elsewhere in 2010 and beyond.
– Sherman also notes the Yankees intend to either pick up Sergio Mitre’s $1.25 million option by next week’s deadline or offer him arbitration, keeping him around as rotation depth. As expected, the Yankees also plan on non-tendering Chien-Ming Wang and then considering offering him a smaller money deal to return.
– Cashman on Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, via Feinsand: “I look at them as starters that can relieve. We haven’t had our meetings, but I would anticipate going to spring training with as much starting depth as possible.”
Cashman also told reporters that he’s not actively shopping Ian Kennedy, but teams have called with interest.
Chien-Ming Wang will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder capsule on Wednesday under the care of Dr. James Andrews and will miss the remainder of the 2009 season.
The Yankees hurler had a MRI Monday in Birmingham, Ala. and met with Andrews on Tuesday. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the team has no time frame on how long Wang will need to recover.
“It’s a tough loss for us,” Girardi said. “I feel for him, because he’s been through a lot in the last 14 or 15 months, with the [right] foot injury and now this. Hopefully this will be the end of the surgeries for him and he will have the rest of his career to be healthy.”
It’s another perfect summer afternoon here in the Bronx as the Yankees and A’s play the third game of this four-game series. The Yankee lineup has shifted a little bit as Derek Jeter is getting a half-day as the DH (Cody Ransom at shortstop) and Jorge Posada takes off the day game after the night game.
At some point, the Yankees are going to figure out how to give Alex Rodriguez a little rest. He’s played the first nine games coming out of the All-Star Break, so figure he’ll be on the bench for the series finale. Johnny Damon is on the bench but fine after taking that throw in the rear end last night on a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
There are no updates yet on Chien-Ming Wang, though it appears likely he’ll be seeing Dr. James Andrews early next week. And since we mentioned that Jeter passed Ted Williams (2,654) on baseball’s all-time hits list yesterday, it’s worth stating that today he ties Bernie Williams (2,076) in games played on the Yankees’ all-time list.
Some of the chatter in the press dining room – appropriate for a A’s vs. Yankees game – was about Rickey Henderson and how wonderful that Hall of Fame speech is going to be. Sadly, the John Olerud story (“I used to play with a guy who wore a helmet like that”) has been debunked, which is unfortunate because it’s a great story.
But Rickey’s malapropisms are the stuff of legend anyway. Here’s a guy who caused a stir in the A’s finance department by not cashing a $1 million bonus check, instead keeping it framed in his house.
My favorite is the tale (again, may or may not be true) about a player who, late in Henderson’s career, asked why he would sit in the front of the bus. As a veteran, Henderson would have had the tenure to take a seat in the back.
“Tenure?” Henderson is said to have replied. “What are you talking about? Rickey’s got 16, 17 years.”
One of a kind.
Pitching: Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 9.33)
Pitching: Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.62)
The tarpaulin is on the field and it doesn’t look like the A’s and Yankees are about to get started anytime soon. It definitely wasn’t a good sign that Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon were settling in for a card game when the clubhouse closed to reporters at 6 p.m. ET.
The biggest tidbit of pre-game news is that Chien-Ming Wang went for a second opinion on his right shoulder, visiting with Dr. David Altchek yesterday. Dr. Chris Ahmad was due to arrive at Yankee Stadium to discuss those findings with Brian Cashman later tonight, and Wang admitted that he is more worried now that the prospect of surgery is looming.
UPDATE 7:32 p.m.: The Yankees just made an announcement. It’s not much. “We do not know if the current conditions will allow us to commence play.” But they think there’s a chance (“So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance!“) so we’ll keep on waiting.
UPDATE 7:58 p.m.: “While we hope to play tonight’s game and will provide updates during the course of this rain delay, presently we do not know whether the current conditions will permit us to commence play. As always, thank you for your patience.”