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.