Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
A show of hands please, how many major league general managers could use a 19-game winner in their rotation?
If they were actually sitting in front of me, I'm sure 30 hands would have been in the air.
That is the reason that former New York Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang has gotten some attention recently, even though in all likelihood, he won't be available for the beginning of the 2010 MLB season.
Rumors, at least from his agent so take them with a grain of salt, say that about 15 clubs have inquired about his services and three or four teams are still interested.
Wang won 19 games in both 2006 (19-6, 3.63 ERA) and 2007 (19-7, ERA 3.70). He was headed to another 19-or-more wins season in 2008 when he injured his foot running the bases in June. He was 8-2 at the time, but missed the remainder of the season.
His 2009 season was a disaster. Wang's numbers were simply ugly; 12 games, one win against six losses, ERA 9.64, WHIP 2.02. His nightmare season was "fortunately" cut short by shoulder surgery and at the end of the year the Yankees declined to tender him an offer making him a free agent.
Unlike the recently-signed, oft-injured Ben Sheets, Wang has yet to throw a baseball. So to me, it's total premature to be talking about signing him. And for fantasy owners, I'd wait to see him in a live spring training game before even putting him on my watch list.
Even when Wang was winning 19 games, he wasn't striking out a lot of batters and had a relatively high WHIP. Put him on a team not named the Bronx Bombers and he might only be capable of winning 8-10 games, considering he likely won't pitch until May or June.
For a major league general manager, there may be a nice upside given an incentive-laden contract, but for a fantasy owner, there's not to see here.
Chien-Ming Wang Career Statistics