UPDATE: The details on the Wang-Nats deal: $2 million in base salary, with up to $3 million in performance-based bonuses.
12:02 P.M.: Now that the shirt’s out of the bag, the Nats have no reason to pretend they haven’t signed Wang. Bill Ladson tweets that the Nats have agreed to terms with Wang and have scheduled a press conference for Friday. Terms aren’t known just yet.
Kudos to the Globe’s Pete Abraham who had this first and stuck with it despite multiple, implausible denials by the agent and the team.
10:59 A.M.: Chien-Ming Wang’s agent has gotten all snippy that people have reported that his client and the Nats already have a deal. He insists that Wang hasn’t yet made up his mind. But if that’s the case, why are the Nationals selling jerseys with his name on it already?
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that if a fan can wear Wang’s name on a Nationals jersey this year, Wang will be wearing a Nationals jersey this year as well.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.