• Yanks Not Interested In Long Term Deal With Wang

    Posted by on February 13th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Via Kat O’Brien today –

    Chien-Ming Wang wanted to sign a long-term contract with the Yankees this offseason, as Robinson Cano did, but the Yankees weren’t interested, Wang said yesterday.

    Wang said of signing a multiyear deal: “I want to.”

    Newsday first reported in December that Wang’s camp was interested in a long-term contract, but yesterday marked Wang’s first words on the matter. The Yankees didn’t share the desire to sign Wang long-term, even though the righthander has won 38 games in the past two seasons. General manager Brian Cashman did not return a phone call, but told Newsday recently, “Not at this time,” when asked about possibly signing Wang long-term.

    Someone close to Wang said the pitcher is disappointed that the Yankees would not entertain the idea of a long-term contract. The source said that the fact that the Yankees signed second baseman Cano to a contract worth at least $30 million and up to $57 million adds to Wang’s disappointment at not receiving the same type offer.

    One reason the Yankees told Wang they did not want to do a long-term deal now, he said, is: “Because pitchers [can find it] hard to stay healthy.”

    I know where the Yankees are going with this one. They figure they can go year-to-year with Worm Killer right through 2010. And, then, when Wang is age 30 they can see if they want to give him a long-term deal. Of course, they’re going to have to pay more, then, if Wang continues to pitch well for the next three seasons.

    It’s sort of how New York approached Rivera and Posada last Spring – meaning “We’ll give you the years and the money when you have options. Until then, we want to make sure you don’t break down.”

    You just hope that good business doesn’t turn into bad blood. Because, sometimes bad blood turns into bad business. If you tick Wang off with this approach, and he’s stellar between now and 2010, then he just might go somewhere else – since many would be willing to pay him in that scenario.

    Comments on Yanks Not Interested In Long Term Deal With Wang

    1. Razor
      February 14th, 2008 | 2:09 am

      I think it’s the right move. In addition to the consideration that pitchers are more prone to injury, right now the yankees would be signing Wang at a likely “peak” price, after two great seasons and his role as a quasi #1 type pitcher (most wins on the team, most reliable). My take, and perhaps the Yankees, is that Wang may prove to be more of a middle of the rotation type guy. (I kind of view him as having a Brad Radke like reliability and talent but he’s not a dominating strikeout number 1 type ace. Of course I hope I’m wrong and Wang becomes the best pitcher in baseball – or even stays the same.) Between that, the money tied up with the new contracts for Rivera/Posada, the additional information we will have in the next 1-2 years about the progess of joba/hughes/ipk (which will help put into perspective Wang’s value to the team), and the money coming off the books in the next year, it seems prudent to wait.

    2. gphunt
      February 14th, 2008 | 7:59 am

      I think it’s a great way to go about dealing with Wang. Not only do they wait and see where the big three end up, but they can monitor how well Horne and Marquez do at AAA. It also gives them time to see how Brackman can respond to his TJ surgery. If those guys flourish Wang is expendable just in time for him to hit the free agent market and demand a big contract. If not then they’ll have to shell out assuming he’s not injured.

    3. February 14th, 2008 | 11:28 am

      I agree with Steve on his take.
      First of all, You guys assume most young pitchers Yankees have will pan out. you guys assume this won’t send bad message to Wang and all the young pitchers yankees have. You guys assume Wang won’t go anywhere else when he become free agent.

    4. gphunt
      February 14th, 2008 | 12:40 pm

      I didn’t assume anything. I used a lot of “ifs.”
      Yankees did a good job of pissing off Bernie Williams, but in the end he signed.

    5. ChrisNewcomb
      February 14th, 2008 | 8:59 pm

      I think its probably a good idea to sign him now. I think there is something to the idea of signing him long term to a below market deal rather than waiting and seeing and paying a premium later. Pitching has gotten so expensive that the money they can save by getting a deal done now is not insubstantial. Any decent free agent is making ten to twelve a year now and Wang may not be an ace but he has won 19 games two years in a row and is a pretty reliable innings eater. He’s been pretty durable, the only exception being the hamstring that may have been trainer related. If he wants to do a deal they can probably get a good will discount so it’s certainly worth considering at this point.

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