The Yankees non-tendered Chien-Ming Wang in early December and it was widely assumed by most baseball officials that the move would be the end of Wang’s tenure in pinstripes. At this point, that is still the most likely scenario.
There is a chance though, however small, that Wang could end up back in New York. Grace, a friend of the blog’s in Taiwan who often checks in with updates on Wang, recently emailed to say that Wang said publicly in Taiwan that there were no hard feelings on his side about being non-tendered.
Of course, it’s possible that a) he was just saying that publicly; and b) that any hard feelings he has have more to do with the way the Yankees handled his arbitration process a few years back. Either way, it’s interesting that Wang is at least leaving the door slightly open to a return.
Are the Yankees interested? They might be, on the right terms. According to Grace, Wang told the media in Taiwan that he started long-tossing on Dec. 1 and will return to America this week before seeing Dr. James Andrews on Jan. 4. He hopes to be able to get into rehab games in April or May, meaning he likely wouldn’t be major-league ready until near June (at least).
My bet is still that Wang ends up signing elsewhere, but you never say never, especially with the Yankees. We know that Brian Cashman loves rotation depth. On an incentive-laden, minor-league deal, maybe Wang could have a second act with the Yankees after all?