Nationals manager Davey Johnson has continued to sing the praises of Chien-Ming Wang with every start that he makes and has even gone as far as to say “As far as I’m concerned, ever since he’s started throwing again, he’s a keeper.”
So it comes of no surprise that recent reports are saying the Washington Nationals and right hander Chien-Ming Wang are currently in the preliminary stages of working towards getting a contract extension done.
Wang 31, who will become a free agent at the end of the season has openly expressed an interest in continuing his career as a pitcher for the Washington Nationals . Wang cites the patience the Nationals have shown him “They have taken care of me a lot the past two years. So I want to come back,” as a reason for his wanting to remain with the Nationals going in to next season.
Washington did indeed show much patience with Wang as he worked his way back from a 2009 season ending shoulder surgery that kept him out of the majors for a little over 2 years and they are just now seeing a return on it. Wang who is slated to make his 11th start for the Nationals this season enters todays game with a 4.31 era and a record of 3-3. While those numbers may not be overwhelming they are pretty good for a guy who is knocking two years of rust off his arm and is just beginning to feel confident that he is once again fully healthy.
It has not been said as to how many years or how much money they are looking for but if an extension is reached it will more than likely be a team friendly deal. Wang who feels a sense of loyalty towards the Nationals has said money is not an issue “I want to help them get more wins. I just want to get back, no matter the salary.” and personally I believe him.
Starting pitching is definitely not an issue for the Nationals and there is younger arms that the Nats could fill the rotation out with but resigning Wang is not a signing I would object to. Wang brings a veteran presence to the team and it is hard not to respect a guy who put in as much work as Wang did to get back to the majors. Plus by extending Wang it could make a pitcher like Lannan expendable because the Nationals have a number of starting pitchers who could be major league ready between 2012 and 2014.
Signing Wang to an extension would give the Nas a possible rotation of Wang, Zimmermann, Strasburg, Detwiler and either Peacock or Milone to start the season. Then with Strasburg being on an inning count limit you have either Peacock or Milone in the minors to fill in once Strasburg reaches his limit. Also if Wang proves he is healthy he can be used as potential mid season trade bait at some point whether it be 2012 or 2013 if it is a multiple year extension.