Washington Post writer Chico Harlan put up a Nationals Journal post last night entitled, "Wang contract details, arbitration cases", which made two quick but important points about the deal the Washington Nationals signed with the 29-year-old former New York Yankees' right-hander Chien-Ming Wang yesterday. The Tainan City, Taiwan-born veteran of five MLB seasons will receive a base salary of $2 million dollars in 2010, with the possibility of adding another million in incentives according to Mr. Harlan. But more importantly, Wang's already passed a physical, which means his surgically-repaired shoulder has been examined and OK'd by the Nationals, so the deal isn't pending a physical, it's already done, providing, as Mr. Harlan writes, "...yet another sign that this deal was days in the making."
The LA Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti was on Sirius/XM's Power Alley with Seth Everett and Jim Duquette Tuesday afternoon, soon after the Nationals' deal with Wang was announced, and the hosts asked Mr. Colletti to explain the Dodgers' decision to pass on the free agent pitcher, after widely-circulated reports surfaced last week that Wang had thrown in front of LA's team officials several times, at least once, apparently, in a parking lot:
Ned Colletti: "...We just weren't prepared to, as much as we liked him, and Joe (Torre) knows him of course, and (Don) Mattingly and (Larry) Bowa know him real well and we had interest in him, but in order to do what we were asked to do we needed to see him off a mound, and we needed to see a little bit more where he was and get a little bit better read on when he's likely to come back and what he's likely to come back as. So we were hesistant to guarantee a lot...Had we seen more, had we had more time, had we seen him off the mound two or three times and seen continual improvement we would've been in it, but throwing in a parking lot and throwing two or three times, and not being at a hundred percent and not really knowing when that will come back, even his representatives, you know they're guessing and they're going to guess short, not long, and even their guess is not anytime soon...so we passed on not knowing enough..."
Seth Everett: "Is he really throwing in a parking?"
Ned Colletti: "He was throwing in a parking lot, my friend."
Jim Duquette: "I've seen my share of those."
Seth Everett: "In back of a Shop Rite..."
Ned Colletti: "Hey, Jim, have you ever signed anybody after you saw them throw in a parking lot?"
Jim Duquette: "No, I can't and I know you can't comment on this, I never signed anybody to a multi-million dollar contract after throwing 60 pitches in a workout like we saw this offseason too, but that's a whole different risk that doesn't pertain to you."
Ned Colletti: "We just needed to see more, you know, he had good command, he didn't hit any cars or anything..." (Laughter)
Mr. Colletti made clear as he continued, that he wasn't making fun of Chien-Ming Wang, just the venue in which they had to watch the pitcher throw...but you have to wonder where DC GM Mike Rizzo watched the right-hander and what he saw that convinced him it was worth the risk. There will be a press conference from Florida on Friday during which I'm sure someone will ask.