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.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.