Chien-Ming Wang is still out on the free agent market in hopes of getting a major league deal. While he may have to eventually lower his expectations, there’s a chance that one of his former teams will welcome him back into the fold.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees will send scouts to watch Wang pitch for Taiwan during the upcoming World Baseball Classic. While Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told King that he hasn’t had contact with Wang’s representatives, this would seem to indicate that they have some level of interest.
Of course, Wang began his career with the Yankees and posted a 55-26 record and a 4.16 ERA over five seasons with the club prior to having shoulder surgery in 2009. He has struggled to get his career back on track since the procedure, posting a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts with the Nationals in 2011 and a 6.68 ERA and 15/15 K/BB ratio over 32 1/3 innings last season.
Yankees spring pitching instructor Billy Connors came away impressed by a recent bullpen session by Wang, but since the club already has a full starting rotation, he might find a better opportunity elsewhere. Failing that, the Yankees would surely welcome him as depth at the Triple-A level.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.