The New York Yankees may be on the verge of signing a former Cy Young runner-up.
… from 2006, anyway. According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, Chien-Ming Wang has been working out for the team’s scouts in Tampa that that the two sides are ‘likely’ to come to terms on a minor league deal at some point.
New York, like a handful of other teams, had been observing the veteran’s performances for Chinese Taipei at the recently-concluded World Baseball Classic, so this had been in the works for some time.
The Chinese Taipei team did not advance past the second round, but Wang was brilliant in his pair of efforts, allowing no runs and 10 hits over 12 total innings, while walking just one batter and striking out three. More importantly than those results, though, is the fact that the right-hander’s sinker was clocked at the low 90s, which suggests that he’s in good form.
That’s good news for the Yankees, who could definitely use the depth in the rotation — and some positive news — to rally behind these days.
Wang has been trying to stick in the bigs since a significant shoulder injury requiring surgery in 2010 derailed his career, and had been pitching in the Washington Nationals organization over the last couple of years as potential back-end depth to the rotation.
He pitched just 32.1 innings in another injury-riddled 2012 (100 games missed between hamstring and hip ailments), posting a 6.68/2.01 ERA/WHIP and walking as many batters as he struck out. The return of his control in his two WBC starts bodes well for his effectiveness, but the 32-year old has to be healthy enough to stay on the mound to show it.
And he’ll get a chance to, even if it’ll be in Triple-A as opposed to the majors. Even with Phil Hughes likely to be sidelined for Opening Day, the Yankees do have David Phelps who can fill in at the bottom of the rotation.
Still, neither him or Ivan Nova (5.02 ERA in 2012) are considered sure-fire options, and if Wang can continue to prove himself to be healthy, it may not be very long into the 2013 season before he gets a shot to make his return to Yankee Stadium in pinstripes.