Chien-Ming Wang won’t be ready for the start of the season

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That’s the most predictable headline of the spring so far, isn’t it?

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Sunday that right-hander Chien-Ming Wang showed progress in a recent bullpen session but has no chance of breaking camp as a member of the club’s 25-man roster. He’s still recovering from that major shoulder surgery that he underwent back in mid-2009 and won’t be back to full health for several more weeks.

Here’s more from Riggleman, via the Post.

“For a starting pitcher, there’s no way we’ll get him stretched out,’ Riggleman said. “Until [pitching coach] Steve McCatty tells me there’s not only progress, but consistent progress for a couple progress for a couple weeks, then we’ll think about that. You can’t get too high or low about a bullpen session.”

With this winter’s $1 million contract included, the Nationals have now committed $3 million to Wang and been given exactly zero innings in return. He hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 4, 2009.

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.