Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday the team continues to speak with pitcher Chien-Ming Wang's representatives as they look to nail down a contract extension.
Wang finished up his return to baseball after two seasons away with a serious shoulder injury, by throwing six innings of one run ball and contributing an RBI single in the Nationals 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves Saturday. Wang's record is an impressive 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA. He recorded 16 strikeouts in his final four starts, after just nine strikeouts in his first seven outings.
Rizzo said the deadline to resign players under team control that runs out five days after the world series does not put any undo pressure on the Nationals to get the deal done now.
"We have had a dialogue long before this," Rizzo said. "We have started the process. I don't think the exclusivity gains us anything or costs us anything. I think there is a good relationship there. We are just going to try to hammer out a fair deal, if we can."
It would make good sense for the Nationals to figure something out with Wang considering the amount of time and money they have invested in the pitcher. After all, Rizzo has said he is always looking for a front line starter. Wang may be that answer already on the roster.
With the way Wang progressed in his 11 starts this season, imagine having that kind of pitcher healthy for an entire season could do to what is primarily a young staff, with the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler. These pitchers have shown great potential and to have a veteran such as Wang available to pitch will only make them better and help to solidify the staff for 2012.