Chien-Ming Wang returning to Yankees

Chien-Ming Wang went 61-32 in ’06 and ’07 for the Yankees before becoming riddled with injuries.

John Heyman reported last night on CBSSports.com that Chien-Ming Wang has signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees. Wang, who was the foundation of the Bombers’ rotation in 2006 and 2007, going 38-13 with a mid-3.00s ERA. His last two seasons with New York were riddled with hip, shoulder, and foot injuries, limiting him to 27 appearances.

Since then he has played two partial seasons – 2011, 2012 – with the Washington Nationals, with only 20 appearances. His career numbers are 61-32 with a 4.26 ERA.

I think this could only be a positive move for the Yankees. While the team appears to have depth in the starting rotation, an effective and healthy Chien-Ming Wang eases some of the worries of the fragility of guys like Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, and Phil Hughes. He also provides a nice option – assuming he regains some of his form – to take some innings for younger players like Ivan Nova or David Phelps. It is important to remember that he is not a strikeout pitcher – 104 Ks in 2007 is his single-season high – but he can eat innings and relieve some of the pressure on the rest of the rotation.

Moving Forward – The Yankees Rebuild (or don’t)

There is a lot of speculation about the Yankees success in the coming seasons and I wanted to provide my perspective.

are undeniably in the deep twilight of the 90s dynasty, which means ownership must commit to one strategy. As of right now, Hal Steinbrenner has made it clear – as well as the uneventful offseason – that the Yankees must get the team’s aggregate salary under $189 million, and I get that. There are three paths that the team could take (well, probably more, but these are the three most likely).

  1. They make it to 2014 with a severely aging roster, only two of whom actually have contracts that extend beyond 2014, and pay to play like the Yankees that we grew up with. This is likely given our history, but Hal’s apparent refusal to imitate his father could easily prevent this.
  2. They demolish for a complete rebuild. This is accomplished with prospects, and good ones. I don’t think the Yankees should trade CC – though it could yield two or more top prospects – the Yankee faithful would have a tough time comprehending the reasoning for it. We tend to be a short-sighted bunch. While CC is pretty much out of the question, I think it would not only be an interesting idea to try to move Teixeira and Granderson, but advisable. Teixeira’s power and production dipped in 2012, as he posted only .251/.332/.475 with just 24 HR and 84 RBIs, but even that paired with his stellar defense is enough to turn a mediocre team into a contender. Either of these deals would require some mix-n-match work with backups, but that comes with a complete rebuild.
  3. The last option is the most likely: they do nothing. We have seen a glimpse of it already, Cashman signed/resigned older veterans (Ichiro, Kuroda, Youkilis), as well as flops like Juan Rivera and Travis Hafner. There has been little to no investment in young talent, which only leave a bad taste of endless dentures and foot cream.

The Yankees need to go big or go young, because right now they are going Mets.