It’s a fairly small item in a weekend Post-Dispatch story,* but it seems the Cardinals are actively checking Chien-Ming Wang’s medical records.
St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan — Shelley’s father — has a strong history of working with sinkerballers and reclamation projects, and given Matt Holliday’s contract, it makes sense that that Cardinals would be interested in a fairly cheap, risk-reward type pitcher (the Post-Dispatch also mentions John Smoltz and Derrick Turnbow).
For Wang, the destination might make sense because the Cardinals depth chart doesn’t even list a fifth starter. Wang won’t be ready for opening day, but a door could open fairly easily for him to back into a big league rotation once he’s ready.
* Nice job by iYankees to pick up the Post-Dispatch story. I completely missed it on Sunday.
Some other happenings on what is so far another slow day for Yankees news.
• Apparently the Tigers really are going to let Phil Coke compete for a spot in the rotation. Coke throws a changeup and worked as a starter through almost all of his minor league career, but things took off when he moved to the bullpen. Not sure why Detroit would want to mess with that, but I’m hardly an expert on Coke’s starting potential. Hope it works out for him, whatever his role.
• Take Huston Street off the 2010 winter wish list. Colorado has signed Street to a three-year deal with an option for a fourth. He would otherwise have been a free agent after this season.
• Speaking of long-term deals, Keith Law reports that the Mariners have wisely locked up Felix Hernandez on a five-year deal. Hernandez and Josh Johnson were the subject of much debate and desire earlier this winter, but it’s almost impossible for any team to trade for that sort of young, front-line starter. The Mariners are clearly trying to build a winner, and keeping Hernandez makes a lot more sense than dealing him.
• Our good friend Bryan Hoch answered some mailbag questions over at the Yankees official site. He notes that the Yankees did not watch Ben Sheets throw today and that it’s unlikely Sheets fits in their budget.
• One last item. Everyone’s favorite ex-Yankees starter Carl Pavano has signed a $7-million deal with the Twins. Pavano allowed more earned runs than any other pitcher in the American League last season.