The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible is tomorrow, as any eligible player not offered a contract immediately becomes a free agent. Matt at Fack Youk took a look at the 4 Yankee candidates (Wang, Gaudin, Mitre, and Cabrera), and concluded that Chien MIng Wang would be the only one to go. He says:
Wang is universally regarded as a goner. The Yankees do not want to offer him arbitration and play him more than the $5M he made in 2009 after he’s missed nearly the entirety of the past two seasons. Wang started a throwing program last week, and his agent claims he won’t be far behind other pitchers in spring training, stating he’ll be ready to pitch by May 1st. Still, the Yankees don’t figure it wise to commit the money to Wang given his injury history – including three shoulder injuries now – his poor performance last year and the uncertainty that surrounds him moving forward. I’ll be sad to see him go. He was a very good pitcher for the Yankees for three plus years before that freak injury in Houston nearly two years ago. The Yankees likely botched his rehab and then didn’t really put him in a position to succeed or improve upon his return.There’s a chance Wang re-signs with the Yankees for less money, but I just don’t see it happening. He’ll likely receive a better offer from someone else; Joe Torre and the Dodgers have expressed interest.
Although I wrote about Wang leaving last week, I have been having second thoughts. If Ben Sheets is truly going to hold out for a deal that exceeds 10 million dollars, Wang might be the best fit for the 2010 Yankees. They likely plan on having Chamberlain and Hughes start, so they may just need another starter who can fill in and soak up some extra innings, rather than a big money acquisition that will slot into the 2 or 3 spot in the rotation. If the Yankees do not believe that he can provide quality innings or feel that his health will continue to be an issue, letting him go will be the right move. But if they have any faith in Wang’s ability to give them, say, 80-100 league average innings, it would be prudent to tender him a contract and focus their resources elsewhere.
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