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Wang Gone?

By Patrick McCabe 12.13.09

Last night at 11:59 p.m. ET the deadline to tender contracts was over. The Yankees had several players up for potential free agency with the option to extend their contracts. While deciding to tender contracts to OF Melky Cabrera, P Chad Gaudin, and P Sergio Mitre; the Yankees declined this option with SP Chien-Ming Wang. Wang, who has tortured us the past couple years with injuries, at one time looked like our number one starter for the next decade. Did the Yankees do the right thing? Or give an opponent a powerful weapon? As of midnight this morning Wang is a free agent. While the Yankees still have an opportunity to resign Wang for a lesser contract, Wang’s agent made it clear that he will be pursuing the rest of the league for any interested buyers.
Wang had previously made $5 million a year while in pinstripes and will likely be looking for a similar amount, if not a lot more. I can see the Yankees trying to resign him for less money because unless they make a large push for Halladay their starting rotation will be pretty weak on the bottom end. With Phil Hughes’ dominating presence out of the bullpen after the all-star break last season, I would be pushing for Hughes to be the permanent 8th inning man. Mo has a few years left in the tank and can mold Hughes into the future Sand Man. I know what you’re saying. “Hughes choked worst than the Bills in the Super Bowl during the postseason.” And I would say you’re right. The divisional series he pitched briefly but effectively. I think the stage of the ALCS and World Series got the better of him and the experience of last year will make him much more effective late in the 2010 postseason.
Joba Chamberlain looks like he would be the 4th starter with Gaudin and Mitre fighting for the 5th spot with the loser of that battle staying in the bullpen as a long-relief man. With the news of Wang as a free agent it seems unlikely he will go back to New York and try to find a larger contract, maybe in LA. Joe Torre wouldn’t hate that one bit. With Roy Halladay telling the Blue Jays they must trade him before Spring Training, I don’t think a deal will be finalized. The Blue Jays are going to ask for a boat load for Halladay, but why shouldn’t they? If the Yankees want him, they’ll wait till he is a free agent next year. The Angels and Mets have both seemed very interested and the Mets would be fine for me. Anywhere than with the Angels. I rather face Halladay 5 times during the year as a Blue Jay than even once in the playoffs as an Angel. With that rambling aside here is my prediction of the Yankees 2010 starting rotation: 1. CC Sabathia 2. A.J. Burnett 3. Andy Pettite 4. Joba Chamberlain 5. Chad Gaudin. Both Gaudin and Mitre would be capable 5 starters but my gut tells me Gaudin will win the position. His long relief appearances were a lot more impressive than Mitre’s.
What’s your starting 5? If you think I’m totally wrong, let me have it. If not, I’ll talk to you next week with more info on the Yankees offseason. Only 67 days till pitchers and catchers report to Tampa.


  1. I think you're right about the rotation, Patrick. Unless the Yanks resign Wang or else pick another starter up out of the blue that blow Gaudin or Mitre out of the water then I believe Chad Gaudin will be the 5th starter. Mitre is way too inconsistent and personally, I would've liked to see them resign Wang over Mitre, even with the chronic injuries that he's accumulated over the past 2 seasons. Hopefully they can resign Wang and he doesn't end up signing with a rival and coming back to bite us if and/or when he gets healthy.

  2. I think you're rotation looks pretty good Patrick, even though I worry about how Joba will perform. I could see the yanks resigning Wang as I'm not sure there will be many teams trying to sign him due to being injury prone. I like the idea of Hughes as the 8th inning man and future closer, but as a Bills fan I don't know why you have to throw salt in my wounds, especially when they will miss the playoffs again this season. I like your thoughts on the yankees but from now on please leave my poor Bills alone. Catch ya next week.

  3. I think Mitre will be sent down, or traded. Expect Yanks to try their hand at a rehab pitcher such as Ben Sheets, or to scour National League for a non-tendered pitcher. These guys can go south at any time so I think they'll get a patchwork value pitcher during the year. I would personally trade Joba as he's a lot of smoke but very little fire when the chips are down.

  4. Phil Hughes has a higher ceiling as a starter than Joba. If one of them has to be in the pen id take Joba. But Personally id like a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Joba, Hughes. We won last year with those 4 and wang/mitre and Hughes will be an upgrade that duo.