Former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang could not reach an agreement with the Washington Nationals last week, so they non-tendered him, making him a free agent.
His preference sounds to be the Nationals on a major league deal, but they seem to prefer to re-sign him on a minor league deal. So instead he’ll be looking around the league for somebody to offer him a guaranteed major league contract.
Only if he can’t find something will he go back to Washington.
There haven’t been a lot of rumors surrounding Wang so far this offseason and it’s not a big surprise. Even with a weak free agent market for pitchers there isn’t going to be a huge market for a pitcher who has barely pitched since early 2008.
There have been a fair amount of Yankees fans who have expressed hope that they would re-sign him, but that is certainly a fan thinking about the good times and ignoring the reality.
Shoulder surgeries are nasty. Wang originally thought he could pitch by last May, but ultimately missed the entire 2010 season. That is typical for pitchers recovering from shoulder injuries. It is just not an injury that pitchers can bounce back from easily.
Because of that it may be hard for Wang to even find any teams at all willing to offer him a major league deal. Even if he finds a team, it won’t be anytime soon. He’s going to have to wait until teams are desperate and scraping the bottom of the barrel.