Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Monday, December 14, 2009
Wang not in hurry to sign amid rehab

By Buster Olney
ESPN The Magazine

While a number of teams have already reached out to pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to express interest in signing the former New York Yankee, it's possible that he won't sign for months, according to his agent, Alan Nero.

Wang
Wang

Wang, who was not tendered a contract by the Yankees by Saturday's deadline, is going through injury rehabilitation and is expected to be ready to pitch early in the season.

Wang will meet with Dr. James Andrews in early January, and after returning to his homeland of Taiwan for a two-week stay, Wang will return to work out in Arizona.

Six teams -- three from the American League, and three from the NL -- made contact with Nero on Sunday through e-mail to express interest in the pitcher.

Nero said early Monday that he expects to hear from more teams in the days ahead, and he did not rule out the possibility that Wang could eventually re-sign with the Yankees.

Wang won 19 games in 2006 and again in 2007, but he was hurt while running the bases in 2008 and missed the rest of that season.

As Wang struggled with his mechanics early in the 2009 season, he experienced shoulder pain, and Andrews performed an arthroscopic procedure to repair a tear in his shoulder capsule.

Wang is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, and while it's possible that Wang could receive significant offers before spring training, it could be that he would benefit from waiting to sign.

In short, the more he shows as he goes through his rehabilitation, and in perhaps throwing for scouts in the spring, the better the offers to him could be.

Nero mentioned the return of Roger Clemens in May 2007 as a comparable situation to what Wang could be in, depending on his rehabilitation and the decisions he makes.

"We will be prudent," said Nero, the Octagon Baseball agent who represents Wang, in concert with a team of representatives in Taiwan.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.