Is there still a chance Wang returns?

As you guys all know, Chien-Ming Wang is a free agent. I know many Yankees fan are still hoping he is resigned, and I definetly would love to see that. However, until today most signs pointed towards Wang being a goner. But today Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe reported that there are 15 teams interested in Wang, and the Yankees would “like to match any final offer” to the rehabbing righty. This makes sense because you can’t expect any team to offer him more than a split contract, just like the one the Yankees offered him not too long ago. I for one hope this report is accurate. Also Carfado notes that Wang is going to check up with Dr. Andrews on January 4th, so expect to hear some more on hear then.

Chien-Ming is looking good in this fashion show.

Halladay and Lackey finding new homes. Matsui too?

A lot can happen in a short time in the world of baseball. Just over the course of one day there are rumors of three pretty big players finding new new homes…

Roy Halladay – It looks like he is going to the Phillies. Wait, it gets much more interesting. This deal does not just include the Phillies and the Blue Jays, the Mariners actually play a huge role in this trade. The Phillies will send recently acquired Cliff Lee to the Mariners in return for prospects. Some names thrown around as the prospects have been outfielder Michael Saunders and pitcher Brandon Morrow (he’s the guy who almost threw a no-hitter against the Yankees in 2008). Presumably then the Phillies would trade a mix of their prospects with some of the prospects they recieve from the Mariners to the Blue Jays for Halladay. Interesting trade to say the least.

John Lackey – He appears to be shipping up to Boston. The Red Sox and Lackey have agreed on a 5 year deal worth 85 million, similar to the deal A.J. Burnett recieved from the Yankees.

Hideki Matsui – Don’t worry he hasn’t finalized anything yet, but the he is on the “verge of a deal” with the Angels. Supposedly the deal would be for 6.5 million over one year. It would really sting to see Matsui go for such a small contract. The Yankees can obviously afford 6.5 million, but the problem is they probably would rather get Johnny Damon back and if the get Matsui that might close the door for Damon. So this could end up hurting the Yankees if he does indeed sign with the Angels.

Chien-Ming Wang – He hasn’t come close to signing a deal as far as I know. I just figured I’d update you guys on his status. As you know the Yankees non-tendered him the other day making him a free agent. Following that the Yankees offered him a split-contract meaning he would start out on a minor league contract, then when the Yankees deemed him healthy he would be on a major league contract. However, Wang declined this contract. Now Wang’s agent is saying that his client may not sign for a few months, which is a risky move on Wang’s part. It works towards the  Yankees favor though. If he doesn’t sign until Spring Training or even later, then the Yankees can monitor his progress in rehab without owing any money to him. Also if Wang truly intends to wait a few months before signing a deal, he must be pretty confident he will come back healthy, which is a good sign. I really hope the Yankees get him back.

"Only 66 more days until Pitchers and Catchers"

"Only 66 more days until Pitchers and Catchers"

Yankees non-tender Wang

According to Joe Strauss the Yankees non-tendered Chien-Ming Wang, this means he will become a free agent. Now this doesn’t mean his career with the Yankees is over, they still could offer him a minor league contract with incentives, or even a major league contract with incentives. I really hope they bring him back. I may be biased because he has been one of my favorite Yankees since he first came up, but I just don’t think he is anywhere near the end of his career. What do you guys think?

The Wang Situation

The deadline to offer arbitration to eligible players is December 12th. The Yankees have 5 important eligible players, and all of them see likely to be offered arbitration, except for maybe one of them. The five players I am talking about are Melky Cabrera, Sergio Mitre, Brian Bruney, Chad Gaudin, and Chien-Ming Wang. Obviously, Wang is the big question here. As you know, Wang is coming off an awful season scarred by a shoulder injury. Wang underwent surgery on his shoulder back in July, and he is not expected to be ready to pitch until mid-season 2010, at the earliest. This is not Wang’s first shoulder injury, if you remember he has had two shoulder injuries before this most recent one.

So the first question is, “Do you offer Chien-Ming Wang arbitration?” The general opinion among the NY Media is that the Yankees will not offer him arbitration. I don’t know hoe much to put into that opinion, you can take it however you wish. But for the sake of argument, let’s say the Yankees don’t offer Wang arbitration, and he becomes a free agent. Do they try to sign to an incentive based contract with a low base salary, or do they just let him go. If they let him go there will definitely be other teams interested, and the Los Angeles Dogders may be one of them. According to MLBTR, Chien-Ming Wang told Taiwanese reporters that he wishes to stay with the Yankees, but when asked about the Dodgers he said he would be open to the idea. That really doesn’t mean much because a)Wang would probably be open to all 30 teams and b)Who knows if the Dodgers are even interested in Wang?

My opinion is that the Yankees can not let Wang go. The best route would probably be to decline arbitration, and then try to sign him to an incentive based contract in which he could earn much more than he would via arbitration, but only if he meets the requirements of the incentives. This way if Wang doesn’t pitch well in 2010, the Yankees wouldn’t have spent too much money on him, but if he does pitch well, he would earn a nice paycheck that the Yankees would gladly pay him for his performance. This way it works out both ways for the Yankees, and there is still something in it for Wang. I just think Chien-Ming Wang is too valuable to let get away, let’s remember when he is right, he is a number one starter and he’d only have to be a number three with CC and Burnett. What’s your opinion on this?

If you remember, I've used this picture before. And I like it!

Remember, this a not a topic about the rest of the rotation, and not a discussion on Chamberlain or Hughes. Also take into account Wang will not be ready at the start of the season.

Chien-Ming Wang’s nightmare

Last night the Yankees released the news that Chien-Ming Wang will undergo season ending surgery. The surgery will be preformed today to repair a “capsule tear” in his right shoulder. The surgery will be preformed by Dr. James Andrews who also preformed shoulder surgery on Wang back in 2001. It’s never good for a pitcher to need shoulder surgery, especially for the 2nd time.

It has been a really tough 13 or so months for Wang, who suffered a sprained lisfranc ligament in his right foot in June of last year, and it all went downhill from there. Wang ended up resting for the rest of 2008, with the expectation that he would be fully ready for the 2009 season. He came into spring training of 2009, had nothing reportedly wrong with his foot or anything else, and began the season as the Yankees number 2 starter.

But, from his first start of the year, Wang did not look right. After seeing a string of horrendous starts, the Yankees placed Wang on the 15 day DL with weakness of his hips (we will never know for sure whether he really had weakness in his hips, or if the Yankees just wanted to get him straightened out in rehab). Anyway, Wang was rehabbing down in Tampa, and then Joba Chamberlain had to leave a start early after being hit in the knee by a come backer, and the Yankees panicked and recalled Chien-Ming Wang. Joba turned out to be fine, and since there was no room in the rotation for Wang, he sat to rot in the bullpen. Eventually, Wang was re-inserted into the rotation, as Phil Hughes was placed in the bullpen. Wang, who was then in the rotation, looked better than early 2009 Wang, but still was not vintage Chien-Ming Wang. And we know the story of how he was removed from a game earlier this month with discomfort in his shoulder. The Yankees first plan was to have him rehab, and possibly come back mid August, but we know that didn’t happen.

At the moment, the Yankees are not sure how much time Wang will miss (or they will not say), but it looks very possible that he could miss a large chunk of the 2010 season to go along with the remainder of the 2009 season. Chien-Ming Wang is up for arbitration at the end of this season, will the Yankees offer him arbitration? Is there a chance they non-tender him, and hope to sign him to a minor league contract? Who knows?

Wang

Wang to have season ending surgery

According to Pete Abe, Chien-Ming Wang will have season ending surgery. The surgery will be tomorrow morning. I’m sure there will be more to come on this topic, but I am done posting about for the night. I feel really bad for Chien-Ming, he has been working so hard since he hurt his foot, and nothing has gone his way. I wish Wang a successful surgery, and a fast recovery.

Game 100: Yankees at Rays

Last night the Yankees won, what’s new? As a Yankee blogger, when the Yankees are winning and everything is well in the Yankees Universe, there is less to blog about. But I don’t mind at all, I hope things stay this way, and of course the Yankees do as well, and they look to get another W into the win column as they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face Scott Kazmir who seemingly never makes it into the 6th inning:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano – who had 2 walks last night, both on 4 straight pitches. Who are you, and what have you done with Robinson Cano?

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

And on the mound, Carsten Charles Sabathia

Please, don’t do it Mr. Cashman

Yesterday, rumors where flying around that the Yankees were set to acquire Bronson Arroyo who is now with the Reds. First, Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse reported that the Yankees and Reds were seriously discussing a trade, Fletcher even said that the deal “will get done.” Also, Bronson Arroyo was scheduled to pitch tomorrow (now today) and the Reds starter was switched to TBA. Then Mark Sheldon tweeted that the TBA was just an error, and that Arroyo was going to pitch for the Reds on his previously scheduled day. Then Pete Abe tweeted that the rumor was shot down by the Yanks. Finally, Jon Heyman tweeted that Arroyo as a Yankee was “not realistic at this point.” Yankee fans rested peacefully after hearing the rumor shot down. I personally don’t understand how Bronson Arroyo could be better than Sergio Mitre, who happens to be a lot cheaper (and younger).

Just waiting…

According to PeteAbe, Chien-Ming Wang is currently waiting to see Dr. James Andrews. I hope he gets good news, but it’s generally never good news when a baseball player sees Dr. Andrews.

Further exploring the options for the 5th starter spot…

In a previous post about Chien-Ming Wang’s injury, I slightly touched on the issue on who will take Wang’s spot. Today, I will explain a bit of a hybrid option

Phil Hughes

It sounds like most Yankee fans want Phil Hughes to take Wang’s spot in the rotation. While I don’t disagree, I am surprised that so many Yankee fans feel this way. Right now Hughes is in a similar situation that Joba Chamberlain was in back when he was the 8th inning man. And when Joba was in the eight, not many people wanted him out (myself not included). Now Phil Hughes has become a lights out reliever and has turned a decent bullpen into a very good bullpen.

Right now I am in favor of putting Hughes back into the rotation where he belongs. They can let him start on Thursday, and have Aceves and Tomko back him up, knowing that Hughes isn’t stretched out. Then during the All Start break they can send Hughes down to get further stretched out, and by the time a 5th starter is needed again he should be able to go around 90 pitches.

Hughes is on a innings limit this year which is supposedly around 180 innings. Right now he is at 49.1 innings pitched and in order to reach his innings limit he would need to pitch exactly 130.9 innings. While Hughes was in the rotation earlier this year he was averaging 5.0 innings a start, if he was to go back into the rotation and average 5 innings a start, he would need about 26 starts to reach his innings limit. I think it’s safe to say he would not get 26 starts, but let’s say he finishes the year in the rotation (don’t worry I have a plan for Wang, I’m not leaving him out), Hughes could probably get 15 starts. If he got those 15 starts, and he averaged 5 innings each start, he would be at 124.1 innings at the season’s end. Well, it’s not that crazy to assume that Hughes could average more than 5 innings a start, if he was able to average 6 innings a start, he would be just under 140 innings (assuming he gets 15 starts). While that still doesn’t sound great, it’s better than how many innings he could reach out of the pen.

Now the question you ask is, “If Hughes is going to stay in the rotation for the rest of the season, what will happen to Wang when he returns?” Let’s consider this, Joba Chamberlain has been averaging 5.4 innings per start this season. He is on a 150 innings pitched limit, if he continues to average 5.4 innings he will reach his limit after about 12 more starts. I don’t know how the Yankees are going to handle Joba with his innings limit, maybe they put him in the bullpen a little while before he reaches the limit, maybe they let Joba pitch over 15o innings as a starter. Anyway, while Joba nears his innings limit, let’s say Chien-Ming Wang rests rehabs. This time around Wang should stay in the minors until it is clear that he is ready, last time he was clearly rushed up. Once Joba reaches his innings limit, or the Yankees put him in the pen (if they do plan on it), then Wang can come up and take Joba’s spot. It’s an unorthodox plan, and it probably won’t happen, but I feel it’s worth considering.

What is likely to happen, is that Sergio Mitre gets called up from Scranton to take the one start before the All Star break, and then the Yankees will re-evaluate the situation.

How about you? Do you have any creative plans? Who do you want to take the rotation spot? Please feel free to comment all you want.

Call me crazy, but I'm allowed to make suggestions.

Call me crazy, but I'm allowed to make suggestions.

Chien-Ming Wang Injury

Chien-Ming Wang left today’s game after 5 and 1/3 innings with what is being described as a right shoulder “strain with bursitis.” He is going to put on the 15 day DL.

Wang was actually dealing today, he had good stuff and good control. The only thing that was missing was his 94 to 95 mph velocity, it sat arounf 90 mph today, but it didn’t really serve as a disadvantage to him today. Now I wonder if the missing velocity had to do with this injury, I assume it does.When Chien-Ming Wang left the game, most people could not see what was wrong. He did not show any signs of discomfort and there were no signs for concern in his delivery. However, after the game Jorge Posada said that Wang’s last pitch was a fastball that was clocked arounf 84 mph and that Wang did not pitch that ball, he just “spun” it.

This seems like bad news, which it is, but according to PeteAbe everybody seems to think he’ll be back within a month.

The Yankees traditionally fudge the details of injuries. But according to Wang, the pain he felt was far less severe than the shoulder inflammation that put him on the DL for nearly two months in 2005. The doctor he saw this afternoon told him that rest and rehab would take care of his issues in a few weeks.

So, while it’s not good news, it may not be horrible news. Still, I feel really bad for Wang himself and for the team. Wang has been working so hard to get back to where he used to be, and if the Yankees had a healthy vintage Wang, can you imagine how dominant their roation would be? Just, think Sabathia, Burnett, and Wang as your top 3, and the 4 and 5 would be pretty good as well with Pettitte and Joba. Well, let’s just hope all goes well, and the Yankees have Wang back in a month and it doesn’t take him long to get back on track.’

As far as who takes his rotation spot, I would not expect Hughes or Aceves to be the one. It seems like the Yankees want to leave the bullpen as it is, and I don’t blame them if they think Wang can return in a month. Regarding, who takes the spot, it looks like its going to be someone from Scranton, probably Sergio Mitre, who has pitched well down there.

Game 80: Blue Jays at Yankees

Happy Fourth of July!

july4th“The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth”

lou gehrig dayToday marks the 70th anniversary of the greatest speech in baseball history. 70 years ago, Lou Gehrig spoke to a crowd of 61,808 at Yankee Stadium. As you know, he was suffering from an unknown disease, which is now known as ALS, but commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Before and during the game today, the Yankees are going to honor Lou Gehrig. Prior to the game, the Yankees will have a video tribute which includes some of today’s players reciting part of the famous speech. During the game, the Yankees will wear 4ALS patches on their jerseys, and the number 4 will be on 1st base. The Yankees will also honor Michael Goldsmith, and ALS sufferer who encouraged MLB to take initiative with ALS.

Happy Birthday George!

Today is also George Steinbrenner’s birthday! I wish him a wonderful birthday, and I hope he feels better. I think some people do not recognize all that George Steinbrenner has done for the Yankees. When he purchased the New York Yankees in 1973 he took a struggling team and quickly transformed it into a championship caliber team. He was selfless in his efforts to improve his team, willing to spend as much as it took to sign a great player, or make a blockbuster trade. George Steinbrenner is also the reason the Yankees are playing in a beautiful, modern, yet traditional new stadium. He always did what was best for his team and what was best for the teams fans. Thank you George.

Here is today’s starting lineup via PeteAbe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

CF Brett Gardner

And on the mound, Chien-Ming Wang

Have a great 4th of July and remember Lou Gehrig and remember how much George Steinbrenner has meant to the New York Yankees organization.

Update 3:33
Chien-Ming Wang left the game with a strained shoulder. Just when he was starting to look good…