Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is inching closer and closer to returning to the major leagues.
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Wang will be promoted to Triple-A Syracuse early next week and will make his fifth minor league rehab start Tuesday night against the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.
Wang has surrendered just 13 hits and two earned runs in 18 minor league rehab innings thus far, striking out eight batters and issuing only two walks. If the progress continues, he could join the Nationals’ starting rotation by the end of this month.
Wang, a 31-year-old native of Taiwan, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2009, when he posted a 9.64 ERA in 42 innings with the Yankees. He won 38 games and maintained a 3.67 ERA from 2006-2007.
Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.
Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).
This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.