October 24, 2020

Nats reportedly bring back Chien-Ming Wang on one-year deal

According to multiple reports this afternoon, the Washington Nationals have agreed to a one-year deal with the free agent right-handed pitcher.  SI.com reports Jon Heyman reported the deal is worth $4 million and others have mentioned the deal includes incentives.

Wang, 32 at the start of spring training, completed a two-year comeback with the Nationals last season, appearing in 11 games, all starts.  He threw 62 1/3 innings with a 4.04 ERA and 1.283 WHIP, striking out 25 and walking 13.  In his six-year Major League career, Wang in 59-29 with a 4.15 ERA in 120 games.  He was twice a 19-game winner for the New York Yankees in 2006-07.

Chien-Ming Wang in his Nationals debut July 29, 2011 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Wang’s best weapon is his sinking fastball, which during his Yankees days he threw at 94-MPH.  In his 11 starts last season, the sinker sat in the 90-92 range but was still effective.  His ground ball/fly ball rate was still well above average, generating 1.12 ground balls per fly ball (MLB average 0.80).

With Wang under contract and virtually assured a spot in the starting rotation, the Nats seemingly have a log-jam of starters for the first time since the move in 2005.  The top of the rotation is set with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, and lefty John Lannan is coming off a good year and is still under team control.  On top of all that, the Nats have a stable of young starters — including Ross Detwiler, Brad Peacock and Tom Milone — all with the potential to make the opening day roster.

GM Mike Rizzo has also indicated that he would kick some tires in the free agent market, looking for a dependable, quality No. 3-type starter to slot behind Strasburg and Zimmermann.  Is Wang that player?  Are the Nats still shopping for starting pitching?  Interesting questions as the Hot Stove League heats up.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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