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Dodgers out of the running for Wang

Feb 10, 2010, 6:43 PM EDT

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There may not be any remaining suitors other than the Nationals to acquire free-agent pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

A source close to the Dodgers said the 29-year-old right-hander threw off flat ground this morning in L.A. for team officials, who concluded they weren’t ready to make him a substantive offer. Agent Alan Nero, who represents Wang, pushed for an answer today, and the Dodgers balked.

That would appear to leave the Nats in the driver’s seat to land the former Yankees hurler. Baseball sources said earlier today there were only two teams left in the running: Washington and another unnamed club (presumably Los Angeles).

It’s unclear whether the Nationals are willing to give Wang (who made only 24 combined starts the last two seasons due to injury and had shoulder surgery in July) a big-league contract or whether they’ll insist on a non-guaranteed, minor-league deal. He has yet to begin throwing off a mound and isn’t expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until May at the earliest.

  1. JohninMPLS - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    I wonder what LA saw that they didn't like?Was it the price tag?

  2. Wally - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    I think that the Nats should roll the dice a little on this one. Wang is an odd pitcher for them to pursue – in the best case scenario, he won't contribute a full year. So he can't be counted on for innings this year and doesn't really fit the bill of a '1 year stopgap while the kids mature' pitcher. Yet he represents a Sheets-type situation – if healthy and he returns to form, he is a quality starter, better than anyone other than SS (and maybe a healthy JZimm). So I think that they should guarantee some money to him this year but make sure that they get a team option for 2011.Maybe $3m + incentives for this year, with a $7.5m team option for 2011? If he can't come back from injury, they lose $3m but it seems like a worthwhile gamble for a potential #2 type.

  3. Anonymous - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    probably too many numbers on a sheet of paper handed to them by Wang's agent. Still a small chance Wang isn't seriously considering the Nats and comes back for L.A.'s unguaranteed minor league offer. If Nationals are willing to guarantee their contract they should have no problem.

  4. Farid - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    The Nationals have made enough solid acquisitions in the off-season where they are now in the position to take a chance on someone like Wang.Over the past few seasons, pretty much all winter pitching additions came with a caveat the size of Montana. If if if if if if.Now, they can sign someone like Wang who could can be, but isn't counted on being, a "difference maker." Without a healthy Wang, I peg the Nats at 73-76 wins. If he returns to his old form, the Nationals are a .500 team. Nationals' fans would dance in the streets (assuming the snow melts one day)for a 75-win team. Anything more is gravy.Sign him but don't count on him.

  5. Wally - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    I should have caveated my comment above with the medical note – this assumes that the Nats med staff feels like he can make it back. Wang used to hit 94/95 mph regularly with a hard sink – I really think that he had only the one pitch. He never struck out a lot of guys, surprisingly. But a sinkerballer like him should be able to suffer a little loss of velo and still be effective. But if he can only get back to 88, I would pass. we already have those guys, named Stammen and Martin.

  6. Wally - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Mark – by the way, I saw that you are up to $7500. Maybe you should just go now, and get the feck out of this snow. Take me with you!

  7. peric - Feb 10, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    But don't get crazy and hire a staff … :)

  8. Positively Half St. - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    A poster named taiwanfan gave a link to a story in China Times he said was posted 2 hours ago which says Wang signed with the Nats for $2M, with $3M in incentives. The translator program I tried failed pretty badly. Perhaps one of you can translate?http://news.chinatimes.com/2007Cti/2007Cti-News/2007Cti-News-Content/0%2C4521%2C11051203+112010021100098%2C00.html

  9. Andrew - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Luckily the McCourt family is in worse shape than the 2009 record of the Nats so that would be my guess why they backed off on Wang!New reading on the Dodgers:http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-thoughts/post/_/id/2589/mccourt_interview

  10. NattyLite - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    he is worth the risk. its not like he is a power pitcher who might never get his stuff back, he is a ground ball guy, much more likely to bounce back in a real way. go get him before another desperate team(mets anyone???) figures it out

  11. Wally - Feb 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Brian at NFA just mentioned that Wang can't be a FA until after 2011. I would definitely like to see them get him, now.

  12. Kiffa - Feb 10, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Half Street,From what I can discern from China Times, WCM has agreed to Nat's offer of $2M plus up to $3M in bonus (total $5M). They said he's passed Nat's physical already and "official" announcement will be in 2 days while he'll be added to 40 man roster next week. Also includes background from Fox sports etc. stating Dodgers and Mets (hadn't heard about them before) where asked to make an offer but that Nat's offer was best. My Chinese isn't the greatest but I wasn't able to see any definitive length of contract beyond the announced numbers for 1 year. It's funny how this news has leaked in AM through Boston, then denied by Nats and now "broken" in Taiwan press again. Bizarre but so long as it proves to be true, we can hope Wang Chien Ming returns to form and takes the coveted #2 spot. If it were me, I would have wanted an option for year 2 as that's when the real upside takes place, assuming Wang is back, coupled with SS, J Zim, Lannan and Marquis (plus any other surprise pitching performers this year), we might have ourselves a competitive p-off team! Go Nats Jia You!Gus

  13. JMW4th - Feb 10, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    Make it happen, Rizzo.If Wang fully recovers in a reasonable time (i.e. May) we have a potential steal of an acquisition on our hands.

  14. peric - Feb 10, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Hmmm another Morgan … that would be nice …

  15. NatsGirl - Feb 11, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Before we get all excited about this amazing Wang, let's not forget RFK Stadium, Father's Day 2006. Joe Torre left Wang in to pitch the 9th against the Nats (Rivera was unavailable, having pitched the day before–Nats won that one 11-9) and gave up the walk-off HR to our own Ryan Zimmerman. I'm still not sold on the guy yet.

  16. RQB - Feb 11, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    Definitely worth the risk. Getting an injured Wang in 2010 is a lot more exciting than getting 100% healthy Daniel Cabrera in 2009.I worry about his velocity, we saw last season what happened to Olsen when his velocity dropped off. Is there still hope/updates for him? Lannan, Wang (healthy), Olsen (healthy), Marquis and Detwiler is an actual major league rotation.

  17. JMW4th - Feb 11, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    NatsGirl said…Before we get all excited about this amazing Wang, let's not forget RFK Stadium, Father's Day 2006. Joe Torre left Wang in to pitch the 9th against the Nats (Rivera was unavailable, having pitched the day before–Nats won that one 11-9) and gave up the walk-off HR to our own Ryan Zimmerman. I'm still not sold on the guy yet.————–well, I guess we should pass on every pitcher who has ever given up a game-winning HR after only giving up 1 run the previous 8 innings. especially if it happened 3 seasons ago.you cannot be serious.

  18. NatsGirl - Feb 11, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    If he couldn't beat the Nats–the worst team in baseball–three years ago, when he was three years healthier/younger than he is now, then how could we expect him to beat any OTHER team–you know, like a team that DIDN'T lose 100 games the last two years. Perhaps it was a poor example, though. I'm still not convinced.

  19. JMW4th - Feb 11, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    I'll have to assume that you stopped watching baseball in 2006.You must have missed the 19 teams he beat in 2007.and the 8 teams he beat in 2008 before he got hurt.being concerned about his health is a legitimate concern. but suggesting we shouldn't sign him because he gave up a HR to Zimmerman 3 years ago is ridiculous.

  20. JMW4th - Feb 11, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    Levale Speigner is a better pitcher than Johan Santana. right?I mean, if Santana couldn't beat Speigner the one time they pitched against each other, then Santana is obviously a horrible pitcher.right?(i'm not serious about this, btw. just making a point)

  21. JMW4th - Feb 11, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    ok Mark, what is the real deal here?On one side, we've got people like Ken Davidoff of Newsday claiming that Wang has already agreed with the Nats, passed his physical, but the announcement won't be made for another few days due to the weather. and providing terms for the deal (guaranteed 2m, but Wang can double that through incentives)on the other side, we've got Bill Ladson saying that the Nats and Wang aren't even anywhere close to a deal at all.what's really going on here? is we is, or is we ain't?

  22. NatsNut - Feb 11, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    re: Wang giving up walkoff HR in 06.Not to mention that in 2006 we weren't yet the worst team in baseball. Shoot, in 2007 we weren't even the worst in our division.I know it feels like ten, but we've only really sucked for two seasons.

  23. NattyLite - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    i think the deal is done. theres just no one around to get a scoop here in washington. any journalist covering the team is either employed by the team or checked out 8 months ago. if the post is really so adverse to the idea of an outside hire, use someone on staff, like shenin…or even barry, you dont need 17 people to cover 16 awful games a year.

  24. natsfan1a - Feb 11, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    Also re: Wang.You never know when any given team might beat another. That's part of the beauty of baseball (especially when the other team is the Spankees ;-)).p.s. Nice Sam Wainwright shout-out a few posts back, PHS.

  25. Positively Half St. - Feb 11, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    natsfan1a-Thanks. I hoped someone would get it. Kiffa-Thanks for the translation work. I tried to find a similar story in an English version of other Taiwan papers, but there were none.JMW4th-It sure seems that Davidoff was quoting the same Chinese article that I was alerted to. Unfortunately, that seems to be the only one remaining that is definitive about the deal. I wondered if Wang was still arbitration-eligible next year, considering the papers all said that the Yankees "non-tendered" him. We need to sign the guy.

  26. NatsGirl - Feb 11, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Alright, alright…here's my deal: I'm not in favor of signing injured, over the hill pitchers. At least they're not just signing every available former Met.As for Santana: that was OBVIOUSLY a reverse-lock, JMW. Can't believe you didn't pick up on that one… :-)

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