UPDATED AT 4:54 P.M.: Nationals GM Mike Rizzo didn’t shed much light on the Wang negotiations today in a conference call with reporters. “We’re in discussions with his representative,” Rizzo said. One of Wang’s agents did not respond to a request for comment.
After signing right-hander Chien-Ming Wang last February and spending the whole season helping him rehab from a shoulder injury, the Nationals have been trying to sign the starter for 2011, if nothing else so they could see the process - and their original $2 million investment - through. It appears now they’ll get a chance to do that.
FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported today via Twitter that the Nationals are nearing a deal with Wang for the 2011 season. Wang missed all of 2010 after coming back from shoulder surgery, but got back on the mound for the Nationals during their fall instructional league, and was throwing in the high 80s. If he can come back to the form that helped him win 19 games twice for the Yankees, he could be a nice low-cost addition for the team next season - though there’s little precedent for a pitcher having, or coming back from, the type of shoulder injury Wang had.
Still, the Nationals wanted to reach a deal with Wang, who was not offered arbitration earlier this month, and he’ll get a chance to make their rotation out of spring training.