Chien-Ming Wang spoke with reporters this week and, according to Peter Abraham of the Journal News, the right hander said that he will not begin throwing until January following shoulder surgery and he thinks he will pitch in 2010, but wasn’t certain it would be for the Yankees.
He had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff at the end of July and it’s obviously going to be a slow recovery if he can’t even begin to throw until the new year. Wang earned $5 million this year and it seems like without any idea of when he’ll return and if he’ll be the same pitcher when he does come back, the Yankees could decide to non-tender the 29-year-old instead of offering him arbitration.
They could offer him arbitration, but he could get a raise and earn upwards of $7-8 million next season. A team looking to decrease payroll might decide that paying that much for a player who won’t play for most of the season might be too much. Instead they will likely offer him a minor league contract. That way they could keep him on the team and he wouldn’t be on the 40-man roster this offseason.
There might be a problem with that because this offseason’s crop of pitchers is pretty thin and teams might decide it is worth it to sign him to a major league deal. He was the major league’s winningest pitcher from 2005-07. Could the Yankees be willing to pay him to avoid this risk?
Ideally they would have an agreement worked out with him before they non-tender him. Which he might be open to.
“I would like to stay in New York,” he said. “But I don’t know what will happen.”