Chien-Ming Wang threw from flat ground at Nationals camp today and has already tossed four bullpen sessions since re-signing with the team in December, but the rehabbing right-hander told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects to begin the season on the disabled list.
Wang is still recovering from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss much of 2009 and all of 2010. After earning $2 million without throwing an inning for the Nationals last season he’ll give it another try on a one-year, $1 million deal that includes up to $5 million in incentives.
Kilgore writes that “he seemingly can be ruled to make the Opening Day rotation” and “is aiming to be ready to pitch in the majors by late April or May.” Until then he’ll likely be placed on the DL and build up arm strength on a minor-league rehab assignment. He hasn’t seen game action since July 4, 2009.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.
The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.
Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.
Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.