Today is the lat day for the Yankees to offer Chien-Ming Wang a contract. But it won’t happen. Ken Davidoff is reporting that the Yankees will not be tendering him a contract.
The Yankees’ top priority this offseason remains improving their starting rotation. On Saturday, however, they’ll bid farewell to the pitcher who has won the most games since Brian Cashman became a bona fide general manager. Chien-Ming Wang, still rehabilitating after right shoulder surgery, will not be tendered a contract by the Yankees Saturday. He might very well top the list of non-tenders throughout the industry.
Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, has said the righthander could be ready by Opening Day, but Cashman said this past week that he thinks Wang will be back sometime between April and June. The Yankees simply don’t think Wang will be able to contribute in any significant fashion in 2010.
Wang was signed by the Yanks as an international free agent in 2000. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and turned in three very strong seasons for the Yankees. In mid-2008 disaster struck when Wang suffered a freak Lisfranc injury while running the bases during a game in Houston.
After undergoing foot surgery last year, he suffered through a bout of horrendous ineffectiveness early in the 2009 season. In his first three appearances of the year, he lasted just 6 innings and allowed 23 earned runs on 23 hits and six walks. After spending a month on the disabled list to build up his lower body strength, he came back in late May and was better. Over his final nine games for the Yanks, he went 1-3 with a 5.50 ERA in 36 innings. An encouraging sign was the 27 strike outs, but he left his July 4th start with shoulder pains. A few weeks later, after three different opinions, he opted for labrum surgery, ending his season.
At this point, the Yankees are moving forward without Wang in their plans. Wang wants to remain in the Bronx. The Dodgers, and Wang’s old manager, have expressed interest in him.
When I was in Taiwan last September, the place I stayed at for USA’s training camp was pretty close to Wang’s hometown. One of the other committee members who is also a Yankee fan and I talked with the hotel staff. They were very proud of Wang and his accomplishments. They told us that Wang lived “over there” and frequented the small city we were staying at. Yankee games were on all the time via YES in Taiwan and there were scores of children and grown men with the #40. He was an icon and a superstar in Taiwan.