According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Chien-Ming Wang is garnering quite a big of interest in the free agent market (at least 15 teams have expressed interest according to his agent) and the Yankees are ready to match any offer out there.
My first thought is that maybe Brian Cashman misread the market or is regretting his decision to non-tender the righty, but it could be one of two other possibilities instead. The first and most likely is that he’s just making sure that nobody gets Wang on the cheap. The reason this is likely is because if the Red Sox somehow managed to sign him for $2 million, the Yankees would look bad.
The other possibility is that the Yankees do really want him back and expect any offer to come in at less than the $4 million they would have had to pay him in arbitration. If that’s the case then why not just pay him $4 million? For some reason the Yankees are, and have always been, really against paying Wang a nickle more than they think he’s worth even while they throw away millions on terrible pitchers like Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, and Kei Igawa among others.
Whatever does happen with Wang it isn’t likely to happen before January 4th. That’s when the pitcher goes back to see Dr. James Andrews to reevaluate his shoulder. At that point teams will have a more realistic idea of when to expect Wang to step on a major league mound. Previously his agent said he would be ready by May 1st, but the Yankees think it could be closer to June or July.