Tagged: Arbitration

The Wang Gets Some Non-Tender Action

Who loves Wang? 

Not the Yankees, not anymore. Who can blame them? In 2006/2007, the Wang was rock solid. In 2008, the Wang started to lose some heat and ended up hurt. Then the Wang came in 2009. What can I say about 2009? Let me just say this: I haven’t seen a Wang so flaccid since I volunteered at a retirement home back in high school.

We all know the horror story that is The 2009 Wanger & The Non-Sinking Sinker, so there’s really no need for me to revive it in detail. I’ll spare you the pain of playing with a Wang that doesn’t know how to hit the right spots. Does it really come as a shocker to anyone that we got off the Wang? Personally, I see no more reason to ride the Wang out. I’m not feeling the Wang anymore, and neither are the Yankees.
I counted 10 double entendres there. Did I miss any?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Chien-Ming Wang has been released into the world of free agency. It’s not like the Yankees didn’t try to keep him. They did. They made him an offer that shows what he’s currently worth to the Yankees: a minor-league deal to give him the opportunity to work his way back up to the majors. Wang, of course, declined. He wanted a guarantee that he’ll be pitching in the majors. I don’t blame him, there are several teams who would be willing to gamble on him. The Yankees, however, don’t need to take such a risk.
Wang’s rejection of the offer was expected. He’s a pitcher who had two consecutive 19-win seasons, surely there are teams who will offer him major league contracts. Why should he settle for a minor league deal? His refusal to accept the offer also tells me that he’s not confident he can work his way back up to the major leagues with the Yankees. If that’s the case, then good riddance.
Why should the Yankees gamble on Wang any longer? I think we’ve waited long enough for his recovery. 
We all know that Chien-Ming’s problems stem from his shoulder injury. Shoulder injuries require more recovery time than elbow injuries. Wang has also developed lower-body problems. If you compare the mechanics of Wang in 2007 with the mechanics of Wang in 2009, you will see a big difference in his leg work. He isn’t using his “core” properly anymore: he’s not rotating his hips in a way that allows him to extend his back leg as fully as he used to. Now his stride towards home while he releases his pitch is more compact. This forces him to depend on his upper body rather than his lower body muscles, therefore, adding more strain on his bad shoulder. 
The fact that Wang is suffering from injuries to his upper and lower body muscles makes me think that he may never go back to his ’06-’07 form. If it were ONLY his shoulder or his leg, then there would be more hope. Having a problem with your upper body means you need to depend on your lower body, and vice versa. When you have problems in both areas, it becomes a vicious cycle in which neither upper nor lower body muscles can fully recover. Basically, it means that Wang is a risk; a risk that the Yankees don’t need to take.
I’ve heard talk about the Yankees trying to slash the payroll. While I doubt that will actually happen, one thing is obvious: the Yankees are only spending the money they think they need to spend. The days of paying players they don’t really need seem to be long gone. Thank Mo! 
Sidenote: Mariano is my God. So when I say “Thank Mo”, I’m thanking God.
The Yankees don’t see the need to spend any more money on Wang, and neither do I.
What I don’t understand is why Mitre was offered arbitration, but I suppose that’s a discussion for another blog post. Back to Wang.
A part of me is sad to see Wang go, but that’s only because it’s always a little sad to let go of a player that came up through our system. He also gave us a couple of very good seasons, there’s no denying that. The bigger part of me, however, thinks that the Yankees made the right move. At the end of the day, you can’t really run your organization based on nostalgia. It’s all about whether or not a player is worth the money and roster space. Currently, Wang is not.
This doesn’t mean he will never go back to being a good pitcher. I think he’ll be decent again. I doubt, however, that he’ll go back to his 2006-2007 form. He was never a lights-out pitcher to begin with, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t great. He was very good, he’s just not very good right now, and probably won’t be for another year or two. I don’t particularly want to see him go to a division rival, just in case he goes back to sinking his sinkers.
If we are going to take a risk, I’d rather gamble on Ben Sheets. He’s known for his injuries, but when he’s healthy he’s very good, and he’s definitely ready to pitch in April. My top choice, like I said in my last post, is John Lackey. With CC, AJ and Pettitte, I think Lackey would be a great acquisition. We offered Mitre and Gaudin arbitration, so they can tough out the #5 spot. Wang, in his current form, is not the answer.
So, goodbye to the flaccid Wang. It’s time to stop playing with the Wang. The Wang gave us some good hot rides over the years, but recently, a ride on the Wang has been too rough for our tastes. We will always have memories of when the Wang was hard and solid, and we will soon put the soft Wang behind us. I wish the Wang all the best in his future affairs. Maybe one day the Wang will be able to rise to the occasion.
8 more double entendres. How do you like them apples?