Chien-Ming Wang and Nationals continue to talk contract

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It took a pair of one-year contracts for the Nationals to get some value out of Chien-Ming Wang, who finally returned to the mound in the second half after missing two calendar years following shoulder surgery, and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Washington is working to re-sign him.

According to Ladson both sides are interested in getting a deal done and have been negotiating for a while now, but nothing is close to happening.

Wang wasn’t his pre-surgery self upon returning, as his fastball velocity was down two miles per hour and he induced fewer ground balls. He also served up eight homers in 62 innings after throwing 131 innings per eight homers allowed with the Yankees.

Along with a putrid strikeout rate of 3.6 per nine innings that suggests his raw stuff was either lost to surgery or still needs more time to return. Yet despite thrower slowing, inducing fewer grounders, and barely missing any bats Wang still managed to be effective in 11 starts, posting a 4.04 ERA while walking just 13 batters in 62 innings.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.