• See Ya, So Wang, Bye-Bye

    Posted by on December 13th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    If you would have asked me 800 days ago, what were the two things least likely to happen in the near future, I probably would have suggested that Tiger Woods would be caught having a ménage à trois with Jesus and Scooby Doo and that the Yankees would release Worm Killer Wang. But, we now have this on the latter:

    Taiwanese pitcher Chien-ming Wang has become a free agent after the New York Yankees declined to offer him a 2010 contract.

    “There’s no doubt that we had to make a tough decision,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement on Saturday.

    “We are still hopeful that our relationship can continue but those decisions are yet to be made.”

    Wang, a two-time 19-game winner who has struggled in recent years with injuries, will now pursue a contract with all 30 Major League Baseball clubs, his agent told MLB’s official website.

    Under baseball labor rules, the Yankees would have had to pay the 29-year-old at least $4 million to keep him under contract.

    New York could still sign the right-hander to a lesser, incentive-based deal, agent Alan Nero said Wang would take all other options into consideration.

    “I think it’s difficult to rationalize a non-tender as further building a bridge with a team, but we’ll see,” Nero said.

    Hey, if you see the Shroud of Turin and a set of golf clubs outside the Mystery Machine, and it’s a rockin’, then don’t come a knockin’…because anything is possible…

    Or, as former Cardinal Joaquin Andujar said in 1984: “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.’ “

    Comments on See Ya, So Wang, Bye-Bye

    1. Corey
      December 13th, 2009 | 12:04 pm

      I hope this works out, and Wang comes back.

      It makes no sense to re-sign Mitre and Gauden for decent money and to let a pitcher of Wang’s calibur walk for around the same amount. Sure, Wang has a lot to prove now. But I’d rather roll the dice on someone who was our ace going into the 2008 season. He’s earned that in my book. I’d tender him a contract out of respect.

    2. butchie22
      December 13th, 2009 | 12:16 pm

      The Wanger? I love that kid, it’s a bloody shame at what has happened to him. Can’t blame Brianless and Yankees Inc for nickel and diming him given his recent injury troubles.

      @ Corey, baseball is unfortunately a business. Respect? Money and business decisions supercede respect in this game. As much as I like the Wanger and what he brought as the nominal ace, he’s an unsure thing right now. As bearish as I am on Mitre and Gaudin, Yankees Inc probably look at the health factor and reliability in that regard over performance level. Wanger’s potential upside is far greater than Chad the Cad’s or Sergio Valente Mitre’s could be though, so I grok your point……..

      The Pirates conspiracy continues…why the hell did they release Capps for? The Pirates seem to be the team that everyone siphons talent from and in the end they continue their much ballyhooed run of mediocrity unabated. I love how Selig lets them wallow in abject shittyness, it’s a shame actually.

    3. cr1
      December 13th, 2009 | 12:39 pm

      Two or three suggestions have appeared that LAD, divorce-poor and also a haven for Yankee refugees, hope they can get Wang for not a lot and foster a comeback.

      Wherever he goes, I hope he makes it back to something resembling his former level — he’s been a favorite since the year that he and Cano were the NYY youth movement …

    4. Raf
      December 13th, 2009 | 6:25 pm

      I can understand nontendering Wang. What I don’t understand is tendering Mitre a contract…

    5. Raf
      December 13th, 2009 | 6:28 pm

      As for Capps, it just goes to show how dumb Houston was for signing Brandon Lyon to a 3/$15M contract.

    6. Raf
      December 13th, 2009 | 6:33 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      The Pirates conspiracy continues…why the hell did they release Capps for?

      The same reason the Yanks let Wang go, injuries.

    7. yanksofny
      December 13th, 2009 | 7:21 pm

      Capps was throwing 89-91 mph fastballs down the middle as if he was throwing it 98-99 mph

    8. butchie22
      December 13th, 2009 | 7:45 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      The Pirates conspiracy continues…why the hell did they release Capps for?
      The same reason the Yanks let Wang go, injuries.

      Raf, it’s not that cout and dry. There was a method to the inmates in Pittsburgh’s madness, from an MLB.com article about Capps non-tender:

      Capps was due a raise from his $2.35 million salary, and the Pirates ultimately determined that such a cost outweighed Capps’ value.

      “If Matt is what he was in ’07 and in the first half in ’08, it’s a no-brainer to tender him,” Huntington said on Sunday. “While we believe Matt can be a bounce-back candidate for next season, we just weren’t willing to go through the arbitration process and risk losing. We got to a number that was our final offer, and when they rejected it, we felt like this was our only option.”

      Huntington noted that the Pirates went into the Winter Meetings intent on trying to trade Capps so that they would not find themselves cutting ties with the closer and getting nothing in return. However, when a newspaper report early last week speculated that the Pirates planned to non-tender Capps, the reliever lost all of his trade value.

      “That [report] destroyed all trade possibilities at the Winter Meetings,” Huntington said. “We felt like we had a good chance [to trade him]. It wasn’t our intention to non-tender Matt Capps until we realized that no deal could be put in place.”

      The 26-year-old closer would be the first to admit that his ’09 season was a forgettable one despite the fact that he recorded a career-best 27 saves.

      He finished the year with a 5.80 ERA, eight losses and five blown saves. It is worth noting, though, that of the 35 earned runs Capps allowed in 54 1/3 innings, 12 of those came in just three appearances (two innings), which certainly swelled his ERA.

      “There were a lot of things that contributed,” Capps said of his struggles. “It was the first year coming off an injury. I dug myself into a little bit of a hole early and felt like I had to save it with each pitch. Still, you take away three games and my games are pretty good. But unfortunately for me, you can’t do that.”

      I have to give Neil Huntington a “Butchism”, mates. He’s making Cash Man look smarter all the time……a ha! Neil “The Dopey Talent Dumper” Huntington…..

      yanksofny wrote:

      Capps was throwing 89-91 mph fastballs down the middle as if he was throwing it 98-99 mph

      Yanks, watch Dave Duncan turn this guy and Wang into world beaters and then we’ll hear the collective bronx cheers from irate fans about how they could have landed them ! :)

    9. butchie22
      December 13th, 2009 | 7:46 pm

      I meant: it’s not that cut and dry…..

    10. Raf
      December 13th, 2009 | 9:51 pm

      I’ll see your MLB.com article and raise you a fangraphs.com article

      “Matt Capps (56 IP, 6.91 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9)

      Capps was something of a surprise non-tender, but his reputation might surpass his actual contribution at this point. To be sure, he’s nowhere near as bad as his 5.80 ERA in 2009 would suggest: his BABIP was a stunning .370. Capps has excellent control (career 1.66 BB/9), but he doesn’t whiff many batters for a late-game reliever (6.89 K/9). An extreme fly ball pitcher (career 36 GB%), Capps benefitted from abnormally low home run/fly ball rates in 2007 (4.4%) and 2008 (6.8%). In ‘09, that figure regressed to 13.5%. Check out Capps’ ERA and xFIP numbers from 2007 to 2009:

      2007: 2.28 ERA, 4.31 xFIP
      2008: 3.02 ERA, 3.95 xFIP
      2009: 5.80 ERA, 4.37 xFIP

      Add in Capps’ recent health problems (DL stints for a shoulder injury in ‘08 and an elbow malady in ‘09), and the non-tender begins to make more sense.”

    11. YankCrank
      December 14th, 2009 | 9:50 am

      Corey wrote:

      I hope this works out, and Wang comes back.

      It makes no sense to re-sign Mitre and Gauden for decent money and to let a pitcher of Wang’s calibur walk for around the same amount. Sure, Wang has a lot to prove now. But I’d rather roll the dice on someone who was our ace going into the 2008 season. He’s earned that in my book. I’d tender him a contract out of respect.

      I’ll respectfully disagree.

      This may seem a little odd, saying this about a team with a $200 million payroll, but the Yankees are trying to get everything out of what money they commit to a player. I completely understand them not committing $4 million to Wang on the chance he may be good again and instead choosing to give money to pitchers they know will be healthy enough to contribute.

      That may sound insane about Gaudin and Mitre, but there was a reason they never committed long term to Wang. He’s had three seasons, professional and amateur, cut short due to shoulder issues and, of course, the unfortunate foot injury. His power sinker was not powerful or sinking last year, and there’s really no guarantee he’ll ever be an effective pitcher ever again.

      I know we all love Wang, but only a team very desperate for pitching will offer him $4-$5 million guaranteed for 2010. With that in mind, are the Yankees that desperate for pitching? And, on top of that, aren’t the Yankees better off taking that $4 million and putting it somewhere that guarantees contribution, like say a left fielder or another arm?

      Love you Wanger, if a team is desperate enough to give you a guaranteed contract than best of luck to you.

    12. butchie22
      December 14th, 2009 | 12:04 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I’ll see your MLB.com article and raise you a fangraphs.com article
      “Matt Capps (56 IP, 6.91 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9)
      Capps was something of a surprise non-tender, but his reputation might surpass his actual contribution at this point. To be sure, he’s nowhere near as bad as his 5.80 ERA in 2009 would suggest: his BABIP was a stunning .370. Capps has excellent control (career 1.66 BB/9), but he doesn’t whiff many batters for a late-game reliever (6.89 K/9). An extreme fly ball pitcher (career 36 GB%), Capps benefitted from abnormally low home run/fly ball rates in 2007 (4.4%) and 2008 (6.8%). In ‘09, that figure regressed to 13.5%. Check out Capps’ ERA and xFIP numbers from 2007 to 2009:
      2007: 2.28 ERA, 4.31 xFIP
      2008: 3.02 ERA, 3.95 xFIP
      2009: 5.80 ERA, 4.37 xFIP
      Add in Capps’ recent health problems (DL stints for a shoulder injury in ‘08 and an elbow malady in ‘09), and the non-tender begins to make more sense.”

      Are we playing poker, I have a royal flush then! The injury card is so overplayed in reference to Capps. His high ERA was skewed this year by this fact:

      He finished the year with a 5.80 ERA, eight losses and five blown saves. It is worth noting, though, that of the 35 earned runs Capps allowed in 54 1/3 innings, 12 of those came in just three appearances (two innings), which certainly swelled his ERA.

      Of course, Fangraphs omits that little detail. and to reiterate the obvious from Talent Dumper HUntington once again:

      “If Matt is what he was in ‘07 and in the first half in ‘08, it’s a no-brainer to tender him,” Huntington said on Sunday. “While we believe Matt can be a bounce-back candidate for next season, we just weren’t willing to go through the arbitration process and risk losing. We got to a number that was our final offer, and when they rejected it, we felt like this was our only option.”

      Huntington f^&*ed up everything. The chump that he is he blames the newspaper when in fact Capps would have cost them over 2 million dollars which is too rich for the skinflint/small minded/ and rebuilding Pirates!

      In essence, Raf you are giving too much credit to Huntington . Judging from his action vs his words, the Talent Dumper mucked the entire thing up. Your rationale might make some sens ebUT it has little correlation as to why the Talent Dumper got rid of him. Huntington claiming that isf Capps were the 2008 Capps is comical. Neil the Talent Dumper didn’t want to pay him and failed to trade him because of his own inherent stupidity!

      Case closed. Game over. Butch wins!!! BUTCH WINS! ; ) HAHAHHAHAHA!

      YankCrank wrote:

      Corey wrote:
      I hope this works out, and Wang comes back.
      It makes no sense to re-sign Mitre and Gauden for decent money and to let a pitcher of Wang’s calibur walk for around the same amount. Sure, Wang has a lot to prove now. But I’d rather roll the dice on someone who was our ace going into the 2008 season. He’s earned that in my book. I’d tender him a contract out of respect.
      I’ll respectfully disagree.
      This may seem a little odd, saying this about a team with a $200 million payroll, but the Yankees are trying to get everything out of what money they commit to a player. I completely understand them not committing $4 million to Wang on the chance he may be good again and instead choosing to give money to pitchers they know will be healthy enough to contribute.
      That may sound insane about Gaudin and Mitre, but there was a reason they never committed long term to Wang. He’s had three seasons, professional and amateur, cut short due to shoulder issues and, of course, the unfortunate foot injury. His power sinker was not powerful or sinking last year, and there’s really no guarantee he’ll ever be an effective pitcher ever again.
      I know we all love Wang, but only a team very desperate for pitching will offer him $4-$5 million guaranteed for 2010. With that in mind, are the Yankees that desperate for pitching? And, on top of that, aren’t the Yankees better off taking that $4 million and putting it somewhere that guarantees contribution, like say a left fielder or another arm?
      Love you Wanger, if a team is desperate enough to give you a guaranteed contract than best of luck to you.

      Crank, I understand your sentiments BUT now there are reports that they want Sheets. They will end up probably paying him upwards of 7.5 million plus incentives. If they want to save money, they know Wanger’s ability in the AL East vs the NL centric pitcher Sheets. why spend over 8 million when you can get Wanger at 4 mill guaranteed? Even still I understand why they dissed Wanger BUT if they sign Sheets it might make that point irrelevant……

    13. YankCrank
      December 14th, 2009 | 12:14 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      If they want to save money, they know Wanger’s ability in the AL East vs the NL centric pitcher Sheets.

      They knew Wang’s ability in 2006 and 2007. Like I said, there’s no guarantee this man can pitch to how he pitched 2-3 years ago ever again. I certainly hope he does, i’ll be rooting heavily for him whichever team he’s on.

      butchie22 wrote:

      why spend over 8 million when you can get Wanger at 4 mill guaranteed?

      Truth is, we have no idea what Wang will get. Somebody starved for pitching can give him $4 million, or no team will offer him a full major league deal. No idea. All we know is the Yankees aren’t starving and desperate for arms, so why overpay for a guy who may never be what he once was? You can take that money and allocate it elsewhere, somewhere more useful.

      As for Sheets, I agree. I’d prefer they not spend $10-$12 million on him for one year but, unfortunately, that seems to be the market for the risk/reward bunch of arms. Idk how Cash will find it cheaper but I guess we’ll see, right?

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.