Four or Five teams pursuing Chien-Ming Wang

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At least that’s what his agent says.  Among those interested: the Mets, the Dodgers and the Cardinals. But wait, wasn’t Wang supposed to be on the sidelines for a good chunk of the early season due to rehab from injuries?

“Our plan was to get him 100 percent healthy, so there was no risk on
the team’s part,” [agent Alan] Nero said. “And that’s still our plan, and we’re
following it. But we didn’t expect teams to be coming forward with
offers, and that’s what’s happening.”

Despite Nero’s claim that Wang is throwing pain free, it strikes me that anyone who goes after Wang now, as opposed to later, is really taking a chance. I’d at least want to see a Ben Sheets-style throwing session from him before getting serious.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.