Chien-Ming Wang: To Tender, or Not to Tender

The deadline to tender contracts to players is Saturday. The forgotten Chien-Ming Wang must be offered a contract of at least 80 percent of his $5 million he earned last season ($4MM).

chien-ming-wangSo, should the Yankees give this guy another shot? It’s really a tossup. Here’s a guy who put up near-Cy Young caliber numbers for two straight seasons. But the Yankees (Brian Cashman) has hardly mentioned him in rotation talk for 2010.

He’ll open 2010 with whatever team at the age of 30, which gives reason to believe he has his best years ahead of him. But with his injury-plagued 2008 and 2009 seasons, it’s tough to lay down at least $4 million on him.

My call: Lay  the money down. Pitching coach Dave Eiland should tell him to go back to his old sinkerball ways of 2006 and 2007. Ease up on the slider, there’s no need to break out a strike out pitch so often when you have a dynamite sinkerball.

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8 Responses to Chien-Ming Wang: To Tender, or Not to Tender

  1. nyyank55 says:

    Think of all the millions that the Yankees have blown on the likes of pitchers such as Hideke Irabu, Jose Contreras, Kei Igawa and Carl Pavano. What do all of these pitchers have in common? They never pitched in New York on an everyday basis. In Wang you have a known commodity that flourished in New York and suffered a freak injury. He was a Cy Young type pitcher before the injury and there is no reason to believe he could not return to his old form. The injury was not to his arm. The injury to his foot caused his mechanics to go south. He then started to rely on his slider to try to offset the fact that he wasn't getting the sink on his fastball. I'm sure he tried to come back too soon and suffered the setbacks that he did. A healthy Wang will rediscover that awesome sinker and come back to form. To think that the Yankees may not tender him a contract is beyond belief. It seems like every year they make a reclamation project out of some one. Why not take a shot with some one you know? I know we are in a bad economy, but a $4 million roll of the dice on someone who can win you close to 20 games is not a bad risk. How many games did Burnett win last year and how much did he cost? If you get 10-12 wins from Wang at the back of the rotation it would be well worth the investment. He's only 30 years old and has a lot of upside.

  2. Matt Imbrogno says:

    Meh. Non-tender him. If you want a reclamation project, there are plenty of better options out there that are better pitchers/options than Wang. If we were not Yankee fans–or Wang was a pitcher for another team–and we were looking at this situation as outside observers, we'd say there's no way the Yankees could keep Wang on. There were signs of decline even before the injury and, let's be honest, a guy with his strikeout rates could only skate by for so long. What's interesting is that as his K/9 rose from '06-'08, so did his BB/9. It's a shame he could never figure that out because he definitely had the stuff to be a strikeout guy.

    His case probably became a little bit stronger w/the departure of Ian Kennedy, but even with that, his chances are probably not too great. Thanks for the memories, CMW, and good luck with whatever comes next.

  3. Ryan says:

    They should definately give this guy a shot. Matt, name the better options. Ben Sheets a pitcher from a weak national league who has been injured his whole career and wants 7-8 million. Wang has proven himself adn earned the right as a yankee to be tendered. We dont need to rely on him as an ace anymore, so that pressure is off him now as well. Even if he puts up a low to mid 4 ERA, thats what you would get with Marguis and the otehr guys anyway. Spend the 4 mill on a guy that has already proven himself and instead of working on a slider, work with him on holding on baserunners because thats what has been his weakness.

  4. Matt Imbrogno says:

    Four million is A LOT for a guy who might not even pitch in a Major League game until mid-season. And then, you have no idea what you're going to get out of him. It's definitely not a risk worth taking just because he had some good years while skating by on shaky peripherals. If it wasn't Wang and if it wasn't a Yankee, you'd think to non-tender him in 30 seconds. Don't let his name adn the team get in the way of logical decision making.

    If he's non-tendered, it's evident that the Yankees don't think he can put up a low-mid fours ERA, and I agree. I just don't think it's a good risk to take.

    As for Sheets, the risk is about the same, maybe a little less since he's had a better career than Wang, but the reward is much, much higher. Ben Sheets at his best is definitely better than Wang at his best.

  5. KVC says:

    The Yanks gave old man Pettitte $11.75 mill. CC and AJ make around $16 mill a piece, so $4 mill for a guy with two 19 win seasons seems cheap to me. Even if he doesn't pitch till midseason. The Yanks gave Roger Clemens something like $18 mill for half a season…. This is four million for the N.Y. Yankees. Pay the man.

  6. Ryan says:

    I read that he will be ready to pitch by May 1. Also, Sheets hasnt pitched over two hundred innings in a year since 2004. He also posts a 3.72 career ERA in the AAAA baseball league. I agree that its a risk, but I think its the lowest risk among the pitchers out there considering most of them dont have American League experience, not to mention, can they handle the AL East. There are three other guys I would think about. Justin Duchscherer, Jon Garland, and possibly Eric Bedard. What do you think of those names?

  7. Asif says:

    I say, take a chance on him. God knows the Yankees have made worst decisions on pitchers in the past. I like Wang and I think he can return to form. Even if Wang comes back at mid-season, if Hughes or Chamberlain don't work out, a healthy Wang could be an extremely valuable fail-safe option for Girardi.

  8. Rob Abruzzese says:

    I like Wang and always thought his power sinker was amazing, but I trust the Yankees and I don't trust shoulder injuries. It's very rare for a pitcher to miss as much time as he's missed and comeback the same way. $4 million does seem like a pretty big gamble for him though. Personally I'd like to see him sign a deal with a base salary around $1.5 million with as many incentives as he wants.

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