From Pete Abraham (LoHud):
Wang had a $5 million contract this season and is eligible for arbitration. There is virtually no chance the Yankees will offer him arbitration before the December deadline. That would leave Wang a free agent.
“I would like to stay in New York,” he said. “But I don’t know what will happen.”
One possibility is that the Yankees could offer Wang a minor-league contract. Or another team could sign him to a major-league deal and hope that he returns to form.
“That’s something we won’t even think about until November,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Those are issues for another day.”
Chien-Ming Wang is in a tough situation—one that, I think, was made worse by the Yankees’ handling of last year’s injury and Wang’s subsequent “recovery.” The team did not provide Wang with the correct rehabilitation program following his lisfranc injury and then, when he struggled in 2009, they sent him to the minors, rushed him back, and used him in an irregular manner. He has been the victim of their poorly constructed regimen and, for that reason, I don’t think he should be discarded so quickly after being the team’s de facto ace from 2006 up until his injury in 2008.
I’d like to see the team offer him arbitration, although that seems unlikely given his status. Wang could, as Abraham stated, accept a minor-league deal in order to stay with the team, but given the manner in which he has been treated, why would he want to return? Whether it’s not signing him to a multi-year deal (which wasn’t a bad decision, just one that can be seen as unappreciative) or “lowballing” him during arbitration, the added insult of his injury-riddled 2009 could be the last straw for a guy who has the stuff to win 18-20 ball games a year.
In 2010, maybe we’ll see Chien-Ming Wang in the second half of the season. However, I’m sad to say that it could very well be with another team, as I’m sure many pitching starved organizations will be willing to take a chance on a guy who can keep the ball down with the best of him (when he’s right). I do hope, though, that the Yankees choose to keep him around. As the saying goes, you can never have too much pitching.
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