Chien-Ming Wang close to re-signing with Nationals

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UPDATE: Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Wang and the Nationals are “close to an agreement” and finalizing various contract details, so apparently the interest from those other teams worked to his agent’s satisfaction.

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The Nationals are still hoping to re-sign Chien-Ming Wang, but in the meantime agent Alan Nero told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that five other teams have expressed interest in the 32-year-old right-hander.

Wang missed most of 2009, all of 2010, and most of 2011 following shoulder surgery, but made 11 starts down the stretch with a 4.04 ERA in 62 innings.

That’s apparently enough to get the Nationals and a handful of other teams interested in Wang as a piece of their 2012 rotations, but his velocity was significantly down from his pre-surgery days, he induced far fewer ground balls, and managed only 25 strikeouts in 62 innings.

It’ll be interesting to see if Wang and his agent can parlay the apparently interest into more than an incentive-laden one-year deal.

Must-Click Link: The Best “Irony Jerseys”

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Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.

We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.

Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.

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.