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.
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.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.