Washington Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang To DC?

• The first reports linking free agent pitcher Chien-Ming Wang with the Washington Nationals came in a Twitter post by MLB.com's Bill Ladson on February 3rd, in which he wrote that he'd, "...just learned that the Nationals are monitoring RHP Chien-Ming Wang. He is throwing 120 ft on flat ground." The New York Yankees had non-tendered the soon-to-be 30-year-old right-handed sinker-baller in December. Wang was recovering, according to NY Daily News.com's Mark Feinsand's July '09 article entitled, "Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang set for surgery on shoulder, season over," from, "...athroscopic surgery to repair the capsule (the fibrous membrane that surrounds the joint) in his right shoulder." Mr. Feinsand speculated at the time that the Yankees might non-tender Wang, "...if the surgery will prevent him from pitching part of the 2010 campaign."

In MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article today entitled, "Nationals 'aggressively pursuing' Wang", (which followed several Twitter posts by Mr. Ladson which reported first that his source said, "...Wang could make a decision within the next 10 days," as to where he would pitch in 2010, and then moments later, that the Nationals were, "...one of the finalists to acquire Chien-Ming Wang's services,") Mr. Ladson confirms that, "...There is no timetable as to when Wang will throw off a mound," but nonetheless, according to Mr. Ladson's baseball source, "The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" free-agent right-hander Chien-Ming Wang."

(55-26) in 5 seasons and 104 career starts for New York, with a 4.07 career ERA since signing with the Yankees as an amateur free agent out of Tainan,Taiwain, and debuting in NY in April 2005, Wang put together back-to-back 19-win seasons in '06-'07 before injuries held the righty to just 24 starts combined in the last two campaigns. Wang was (1-6) with an ERA in the high 9.00's, a 2.02 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9 and a 1.53 K/BB in '09, appearing in just 12 games and 9 starts last year, leaving the 29-year-old righty with a 162-game average of 18 wins per year with 2.6 BB/9, 4.2 K/9 and a 1.34 WHIP per 33 starts...

• FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal confirmed the Nationals' interest in Wang in an update of FOXSports.com's "Buzz Latest from the MLB offseason" subtitled, "Wang sweepstakes heat up", where Mr. Rosenthal wrote that the Nationals, "...continue to explore every available remaining free-agent starter, and are considering Wang." According to Mr. Rosenthal, Washington's one of five or six teams potentially interested in Wang, alongside Baltimore's Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and possibly Toronto or Tampa Bay, though Mr. Rosenthal writes that, "The Dodgers are lagging," and according to an unnamed "source", "...the Mets are further behind."

• MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling wrote last night in an article entitled, "Nationals among leaders for Wang", that Washington is, "...one of the teams that's "way ahead of the pack" in pursuit of free-agent pitcher Chien-Ming Wang." Both Mr. Goessling and Mr. Rosenthal acknowledge the connection between Wang and LA Dodgers' skipper Joe Torre, who managed the right-hander in NY, though the MASNSports.com writer cites an unnamed source who says:

"'If you know (general manager) Mike Rizzo at all, you know they're ahead of the pack. If there was a checklist of 20 things teams are doing, the Nationals are way ahead in their study."

Is this it? Wang or Livan Hernandez? Should the Washington Nationals invest whatever money they have remaining to work with this offseason in a pitcher coming off a serious injury and surgery? Is there any way Rizzo lets a sinkerballer like Wang get away? The 29-going-on-30-year-old Wang is coming off a 1-year/$5 million dollar deal with NY...Should the Nationals sign Chien-Ming Wang?

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