The New York Yankees currently have six pitchers fighting for five rotation spots and anticipate Michael Pineda to return sometime after June. That still hasn’t prevented them from snooping around the free agent market and looking in on former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang.
Wang, who turns 33 next month, won 19 games in back-to-back seasons for the Yankees in 2006 and 2007 before injuring his ankle running the bases in an interleague game. Shortly after, he hurt his shoulder and has never been the same since, missing all of 2010 and pitching intermittently for the Washington Nationals the last two seasons.
Wang recently threw off of a mound for Billy Connors who had nothing but good things to say about Wang. The Yankees are also planning on scouting Wang while he pitches for Team Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic.
Right now, Wang is trying to resurrect a career that looked extremely bright only a few years ago. He won’t be getting a guaranteed contract but a minor league deal is very possible and he could be a nice option to stash at Triple-A just in case something happens at the MLB level.
At this point the Yankees, or any team, can’t count on Wang. He hasn’t pitched more than 100 innings in a season since 2007 when he pitched 199.1 and did even eclipse the 100 inning mark in the last two seasons combined at the Major League level.
Wang is a high-risk, high-reward player, the kind that Yankees GM Brian Cashman likes to add to the mix. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Wang brought back just to stash an arm at Triple-A if needed.