Chien-Ming Wang opts out of contract with Yankees, set to join Blue Jays

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Chien-Ming Wang has opted out of his minor-league contract with the Yankees and is once again a free agent.

Wang had a 2.33 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A, but managed just 25 strikeouts in 58 innings and there was little indication that the Yankees would seriously consider calling him up.

Meanwhile, last week there were several reports that multiple teams, including the Orioles, were keeping an eye on Wang as potential rotation help. So clearly Wang thinks he has a better chance of returning to the big leagues with a different organization.

UPDATE: Well, that was quick. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Wang is expected to sign with the Blue Jays and will likely start for them Tuesday against the White Sox.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.