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Wang returns to Nats on 1-year deal

Nov 3, 2011, 10:04 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Chien-Ming Wang went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts.

The Nationals have agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, according to a club source, finalizing a deal that had been in the works for weeks.

The deal, which is still pending a physical, includes a guaranteed $4 million salary and is believed to also include incentives based on the number of starts Wang makes.

Wang’s return to D.C. seemed a foregone conclusion since the end of the season, when both he and the club expressed a desire to work out a new deal. He technically became a free agent this week and was free to negotiate with other teams at 12:01 a.m. today, but the Nationals already had the framework of the deal in place and needed only to finalize details.

Wang, 31, is currently in Taiwan pitching for his native country’s national team against a team of major-league players that includes
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  1. Anonymous - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    1 year: good plan, right move.

  2. Anonymous - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    I like the move. Not big coins for a guy who has a good chance to be an above average SP. I am gussing that Gorzy gets non-tendered now. Maya has a MLB contract so he's in the pen as a long man?dfh21

  3. natsfan1a - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Welcome back.

  4. Dawn - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Good the Nationals, it also shows Chien-Ming Wang is a man of his word.

  5. SonnyG10 - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    Good deal!

  6. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    R.I.P., Mateo Rojas Alou.

  7. jd - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    dfh21, Maya – hopefully in Syarcuse. In Baseball sometimes you have to admit a mistake and eat the money.

  8. jd - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Wang deal is a very good deal with potential excellent return and a very small risk. If he pitches as well as he did after his 1st couple of starts this will be a steal.

  9. natsfan1a - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    I remember back in the day hearing SF Giants games on the radio as my dad and brothers listened to them. Je-sus Alou, Fe-lipe (which the broadcaster pronounced as two syllables) Alou, Mat-ty Alou. The names seemed musical to me as a child.

  10. Nats1924 - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Good signing! lets go W's!

  11. Nats1924 - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    sooo- JZimm- Stras- Wang- Lannan- DetwilerGiven Stras's inning limit next year, I still think JZimm should have a chance to be the opening day starter.go W's!

  12. Joe Seamhead - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Dawn said…Good the Nationals, it also shows Chien-Ming Wang is a man of his word.November 3, 2011 6:29 PM Dawn, you said it in a nutshell. The guy has a sense of right and wrong, and if Wang continues to pitch the way he did in his last few starts this is huge. Some folks were a bit too impatient with him in his first few starts. Just like a guy coming back from Tommy John surgery, it takes a few starts to find your command, and to gain confidence that you really are okay, and that the next pitch that you throw isn't going to make everything that you went through to come back all for naught. I honestly think CMW you be an honest # 3 for the Nats. GYFNG!!!

  13. baseballswami - Nov 3, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    The first day of free agency – we lost Bixler and gained CMW — net gain do you think? Seriously, I like Bixler's hustle and speed and wish him well in Houston – he may be a superstar there. I hope so for his sake. CMW — I hope he continues to get stronger over the off-season and is in tip top form in February. When is he pitching against our all star team? Tonight? ( well, I guess it actually already happened)

  14. Nats in Athens - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    The signing gives the Nats at least a semi solid 1-2-3 in the rotation and allows a little more leverage in going after another pitcher – if management thinks it needs to do so. And without burning too much money – In three years Wang will have cost less than Marquis cost for the first disastrous year.

  15. SCNatsFan - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    And it guarantees us one more year of Wang jokes

  16. ehay2k - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    I really must buy a Wang jersey, or at least a T-shirt, this year. RESPECT THE NATS' WANG!

  17. Constant Reader - Nov 3, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    My two cents … John Lannan just became (more) expendable. Even if we don't acquire a pitcher to slot at #3 ahead of CMW, we could go Detwiler #4 and Peacock/Milone at #5 if Lannan is part of a deal that gets us Spann or Fowler. The big league ready pieces (Flores, Marrero, one of Desi, Espi, Lombi, Bernadina, Lannan, Detwiler, etc.) that could be moved to get us a player we NEED are pretty amazing given the dumpster diving of the Bowden years.

  18. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Having Wang in the rotation to solidify 4 players with spots makes a nice looking group. Buehrle could make this a top 5 rotation in the Majors with Philly and San Fran as the #1 and #2.

  19. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    baseballswami said… The first day of free agency – we lost Bixler and gained CMW — net gain do you think? Seriously, I like Bixler's hustle and speed and wish him well in Houston – he may be a superstar there. I hope so for his sake. CMW — I hope he continues to get stronger over the off-season and is in tip top form in February. When is he pitching against our all star team? Tonight? ( well, I guess it actually already happened) November 3, 2011 6:51 PM _________________________________I very much enjoyed a player like Bixler that hustled on everything. He has to find a way to hit for average. I wish him well 156 games a year (just not the 6 against the Nats).

  20. SBrent - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Good for CMW and good for the Nats. Anyone now how well he's actually pitching in those games in Taiwan? Mark, did you take any Taiwanese sportswriters' business cards when they flooded Viera? Email 'em for an update! :)

  21. Tim - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    Still a big risk, although a one year risk. Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, has EVER come back from the type of shoulder surgery Wang had.GYFNG!

  22. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    SBrent, Wang hasn't pitched yet in the Taiwan games.

  23. baseballswami - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Just tuned in to the taiwan game and rossD is pitching – he must have done ok in the first 3 since the score is zero – anyone know how it went – I can't find a box score?

  24. Farid - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    Poor John Lannan. He has a career ERA lower than Chien-Ming Wang but still gets no respect. Although I love him, I agree with some of the commenters here who say that Lannan is now "more" expendable with the Wang signing. Were I a trade God, I'd send Ian Desmond and Lannan (and maybe a minor leaguer) somewhere for a quality #3 starter (a James Shields quality of pitcher), move Danny Espinosa to short, give second base to Stephen Lombardozzi (who hit .357 over the last two weeks in September after a horrid start and also won the minor league Gold Glove for second base–best defender out of every second baseman in every league)and sign free agent Jamey Carroll as a back-up in case Lombardozzi isn't ready. Carroll has been a near full-timer for the Dodgers the last two years and hit .290 over that span. At 38, he's not going to get a full time gig but might come here as the team's backup at second, third and short (and possible starter if Lombardozzi fails). But, that's just me. I'm watching the MLB All Star – Taiwan game and the announcers (I can't tell who they are) are just pouring the love all over the Nationals and their young players. They called the Nats "THE up and coming team in baseball." Pretty cool.

  25. baseballswami - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Farid — Larry Bowa in particular seems to like the Nats – the other announcer is Greg Amsinger. They were all about Morse during the last game. And — I agree with you on the no respect for Lannan thing. He is not a superstar but has been a real solid guy for us. Can't understand why he gets trashed. He has also been one of the worst victims of low run support.

  26. sjm308 - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    Really happy with this signing and you can call me stupid but I am wondering why there wasn't some sort of extension for a 2nd year along with a buyout clause. I realize Wang is not all the way back BUT, if he does pitch well wouldn't you want him for a 2nd year. I am not talking about 3-5 years, just a 2nd year in case he really does get back to 2007 form. If he does not pitch well we could always use that buyout that I see others incorporating. Again, I am happy he is with us but would have liked that 2nd year as security. Bixler was a nice 25th man but how anyone thinks a guy who had just one tool (speed) is somehow going to end up a superstar is beyond me. If we had kept Bixler it probably would have meant Lombardozzi going back to AAA and I surely did not want to see that. In my mind, Bixler is going to hit maybe .260 in a good year with no power. I think Jamey Carroll would be a much better answer for Houston but probably costs twice as much as Bixler. I wish him well but I don't even see him starting for a major league club much less becoming a superstar.

  27. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Wang is scheduled to pitch against MLB Stars on Sunday. 3IP/60p limit set by the Nats.

  28. Constant Reader - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Re: John Lannan. I have always been a huge fan of his since day one (remember the night he stopped Bonds from passing Aaron). I have the photo of him with my son prominently displayed. I'm just being a cold blooded GM.CMW has been a #1 on a pennant winner. He slots as our #3 (and, yes, I do acknowledge the risk). We could pick up Buehrle or someone else that slots ahead of Lannan. At that point, the question becomes … is Lannan worth more to us going to the mound every fifth day if that keeps Detwiler or Peacock or Milone from the mound or is he worth more for what we could get in trade while one or two of those three takes the mound? I love me some John Lannan and will miss him, but I think the answer is pretty clear.

  29. NatsLady - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:18 AM

    Very glad to hear that CMW has signed, as I have been a fan of his since the great game he pitched in Chicago. Honestly, I never doubted he would sign. I thought, and I'm sure he thought, of those long, hot days he spent in Florida, with the Nats' staff attending to him and supporting him. I'm glad it's a one-year deal. He owed the Nats' one year. If he does well, then next year he deserves whatever the market will bear, and if the Nats have to bid against the Yanks, so be it.

  30. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    sjm308, maybe Wang and his agent only wanted one year. If he feels that he is most of the way back and can have a full solid season he will earn much more than $4 mil as a FA next year.

  31. sjm308 - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    jd: I am sure you are correct, I was hoping Rizzo could push for that 2nd year. No doubt if he pitches well he will be in big demand.Just saw Morse ground out in the Taiwan game. The camera did not stay on him after each pitch so I might be wrong but I did not see the raised left leg & hip turn that we got so used to before each pitch. The announcers were praising our lineup for the future and Larry Bowa also has Fielder playing for us next year.

  32. A DC Wonk - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    Where are all the guys who were trashing Davey and Rizzo for playing CMW down the stretch? Half were saying the CMW doesn't have it, they'd seen enough, and they should cut bait; the other half were saying that the proof of the stupidity was that if CMW did well, we'd lose him to free agency.Just sayin' . . . ;-)

  33. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Harper goes 3 for 3 tonight with another home run. Now batting .323He's making his case to get here in 2012 !

  34. Frediemac - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    He will be here in 2012. You can take that to the bank…June 2012

  35. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    Great to have CMW back!!!

  36. Will - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    It would have been nice for the Nats to attach a club option for 2013. We invested (wasted?) nearly 2 years waiting for Wang to return to health, so it would be fair if he could give us two (hopefully) healthy years.A club option would shield us from risk. If Wang does go down with another injury then we simply don't pick up the option. But if Wang returns to 2008 form, then we already have him on contract for 2013, and won't have to compete with the Yankees to resign him.

  37. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    jd said… sjm308,maybe Wang and his agent only wanted one year. If he feels that he is most of the way back and can have a full solid season he will earn much more than $4 mil as a FA next year. November 3, 2011 11:24 PM ________________________________I kind of thought that the 1 year deal with the Nats was to fulfill the obligation Wang felt he owed the Nats on a fair deal for both sides. Now you get Wang at a price that is fair to both parties. I thought it would be $5 million so $4 million seems fair.Will, I guess we will see what happens a year from now. I am hoping Wang is worth $12 million at this time next year because that means he was a huge success.

  38. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Farid said… Poor John Lannan. He has a career ERA lower than Chien-Ming Wang but still gets no respect. Although I love him, I agree with some of the commenters here who say that Lannan is now "more" expendable with the Wang signing. ____________________________________________I wasn't a John Lannan believer until 2011. He came into the season in the best shape of his career. His arm strength was better, his pitches were more challenging, and the defenders behind him did a better job of fielding.The net result was an improved Lannan. The stats back it up to a career best .370 ERA. Some want to spend a bunch of money on Edwin Jackson who had a .379 ERA in 2011.Jackson actually got better learning under Dave Duncan who is one of the best pitching coaches. I wonder if Edwin learned enough that he can improve but overall in 2011 Lannan had a lower ERA.I think as fans we are more critical of the players we see everyday like Lannan, Desmond, Detwiler, etc.Other fans see these players occassionally and see the stats. You give John Lannan run support and he wins 15 to 18 games in 2011 and all of a sudden, you love the guy.I don't think you trade Lannan this year as the Nats control him for 2 more years.Lannan had a 1.95 ERA in June in 6 starts and went 3-0 with 3 no decisions. One game he left with a 3 run lead and the bullpen lost his lead and in another game he left with a 2 run lead and the bullpen lost his lead. He easily could have been 5-0 in June.On August 13th, John Lannan hit some type of wall or a wall of frustration. That was the game in Philly where the defense fell apart and gave up 7 runs of which only 1 was earned. That sent Lannan's season in a tail spin. Not sure what happened if he started to fatigue or frustration of bad defense or bad run supports. At August 13th, Lannan had a 3.56 ERA and pitching metrics that made him look like a solid #3 pitcher.3.50's ERA pitchers are worth $8 to $12 million a year and that is what John Lannan I think can be with good defense around him and some better run support so he can pitch with a lead.

  39. Gonat - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    By the way, John Lannan with a 3.70 ERA and Roy Oswalt with a 3.69 ERA. Less than 1 earned run that scored during 2011 seperates them in ERA.Keep that in mind for all those clamoring for Roy Oswalt to come here. Oswalt finished with a 9-10 record also.

  40. gonatsgo - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    A lot of pitchers from other teams that look really good on paper would have the same numbers or worse than John Lannan/Ross Detweiler and the rest,if they played with the lack of run support that our guys do. And I agree with one of the previous posters that we fans tend to be very hard on our own guys – outsiders are much kinder. Regarding the Taiwan series – I think it's kind of funny that it's billed as the "All Stars" when the starting pitcher was Ross Detweiler who does not even have a starting job with the Nats at this point. The position players are very good, some are bona fide stars but for the most part it seems to be people who were willing to go overseas during the off season. I think Mike Morse would play baseball anyday anywhere.

  41. JamesFan - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    If the Nats could get Buehrle to go with this rotation and maintain the pen, the Nats are in contention. I fear that they will weaken the pen in some kind of deal for a position player. A weak pen really weakens the starting rotation.

  42. Tcostant - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Rizzo blew it. I like the signing, but a deal like this have to include an option year (something like $10 million in 2013 or a $500,000 buyout) in order to guard against if he is just plain great. The Nats have enable Wang to re-establish his value and if he pitches well a 3 year $27 million contract is within the realm of possibilities. You get an option like this, to ensure you have options, either in the plans for the following year or enhanced trade value in July. Let’s say the guy lights it up through June 30th next year, but the kids on the farm are more than ready. If he has a 2013 option, he would have a lot more trade value.I’m just saying, you can’t do a contract like this unless it has an option year; even if it had a high number.

  43. Tcostant - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Farid said… Poor John Lannan. He has a career ERA lower than Chien-Ming Wang…Before you compare the two, consider that Wang pitched in the hitter freindly AL East with a DH. Lannan pitch a lot of years in pitcher freindly RFK.It's just not a fair comparision.

  44. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    John Lannan's career stats at RFK Stadium:2 gamesERA: 5.56.Try again.

  45. Tcostant - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Besided the DH, how about a lot of Wang stats were before PHD testing. He had to play steroid cheats Manny Remirez and Rafael Palmeiro and many other unknown users.Still apples and oranges.

  46. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Lannan is a decent bottom of the rotation starter. There is nothing wrong with that until his salary is more in line with mid or top of the rotation starters. He should get a $5 mil contract this year; he is like to earn that salary with his performance but he is not likely to exceed this level so if his salary keeps climbing through the arbitration process he will be less attractive to the Nationals particularly if you can get something very similar from someone like Milone.

  47. DFL - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Milone(25 by Opening Day) and Peacock(24 by Opening Day) should be pitching the innings Wang is slated to toss or they are not the answer. The Nats are still a year away as a serious contender. They should find out now whether Milone and Peacock are in their future or not. Wang is stop-gap.

  48. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Detwiler, Peacock, and Milone can all duke it out for the #5 spot. CMW is #3 Lannan is #4. That's how we'll open the season. Who knows what will happen during the season…

  49. jd - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    David,Don't be so sure. Stuff happens in the off season which we don't expect. We can debate the makeup of the lineup and staff when we get to spring training.

  50. blovy8 - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    I bet the Nats aren't done signing pitchers, even if I disagree with the actual need for them: here's the thing – Milone doesn't get a lot of respect as a prospect since his fastball is so slow, Detwiler hasn't really put enough innings together to know how much he can pitch or if his mechanics will let him, Peacock's 2011 performance looks fluky, and he'll need to prove it a bit more, Lannan will be making pretty close to what he deserves after arbitration, Desmond shows flashes of talent, but hasn't had a complete season fielding well or hitting well. None of these guys are netting much in a trade.

  51. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    For those of you saying this is a bad contract or that Rizzo failed because it's only a one year deal without a second year option, perhaps the player and the agent preferred a one year deal. It's very common for players coming back from injury to only sign one year deals to show they are healthy and get their value up. Don't blame Rizzo or the Nationals unless you know all the facts.

  52. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    If we go after Buerhle. That means Stras, JZimm, Buerhle, CMW, and one of Lannan/Detwiler/Peacock/Milone. But I wouldnt want to trade any of those 4 pitchers fighting for #5 because of Buerhle and Wang being injury risks. Why is Buerhle an injury risk? Look at our last couple big salaries for middle road free agents. LaRoche, Marquis. Both were injury free throughout their careers, and then blammo. Come to the Nats and make 8 mil to rehab all year. I'd rather trade one of Detwiler/Peacock/Milone than Lannan. He's a proven vet. Can we send all 3 of those guys to AAA? Sucks, but with another Marquis-esque pitcher in the fold, thats what we have to do. I'd rather bet on Lannan's steady veteran performance, than Detwiler/Milone/Peacocks higher potential. With that said, I'd also rather not get a middle of the road, high priced free agent pitcher, aka Marquis. Either get an a real ace, or go with youth and potential. All Buerhle would do is block us from finding out how good Detwiler/Peacock/Milone can be… sorry I'm all over the place on this one! haha

  53. David - Nov 4, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Id rather go with Oswalt, because you get ace pitching when he's on the mound. And almost guaranteed development opportunities for the young guns. Or if we health lucky, Oswalt gives us ace pitching all year… which would certainly help our overall record. All I'm saying is, I think we already have a Buerhle on the staff. His name is Lannan. and he's a lot cheaper…

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