Chien-Ming Wang’s deal with Nats includes $5M in incentives


Chien Ming-Wang agreed to re-sign with the Nationals on Thursday afternoon.

Now the details of his contract are trickling in.  You know, the good stuff.

According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Wang will get a base salary of $1 million and can earn another $5 million through performance-based bonuses.

The Nationals clearly still believe in his arm.  They gave him $2 million in 2010 and he didn’t touch a ball in a live game because of shoulder issues, but that shoulder is believed to be healthy and the Taiwan native is only 30 years old.

Wang posted an ERA of 3.70 and a WHIP of 1.29 while winning 19 games for the Yankees in 2008.  Maybe he’ll finally get healthy for a 2011 Nats club that is in desperate need of starting rotation depth.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.