It’ll be nice to celebrate the WS Championship with friends today. The last meeting we had of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club was on the off day between Games 5 and 6 of the World Series. Today is our Christmas Party. It’ll be nice to celebrate. Helping us celebrate will be many children from the Miracle League. If you don’t know about the Miracle League, check out the link at right. Joining us will be Yankee “Sign Man” Freddy Sez.
I see one minor transaction. Cody Ransom signed a minor league deal with the Phils, with an invitation to big league camp to try to be a backup utility infielder. You may recall Ransom filled in at 3b in April and early May when A-Rod was recuperating from hip surgery. Ransom didn’t fare well in his 15 minutes of fame, as he hit .190 (15 for 79) for the season, 0 HR, and 10 RBI. 9 of the 15 hits were doubles. 25 strikeouts, OPS+ 55. For his career, Ransom, 34 next Feb., is .233-7-34, OPS+ 88 in 262 AB.
Today the Yanks must make decisions on whether to take some players to arbitration. The biggest name, and it seems biggest no, is Wang. A shame what happened to him. 19-game winner in two consecutive years, no problems with the personality, a CYA runnerup. It is too bad he couldn’t enjoy the champagne this year. I for one, hope he is able to make the long trip from Taiwan to NYC for Old-Timers games. He deserves a nice hand for being an ace when the rest of the staff was old/shaky/both. Without him from 2005-2007, the Torre era and playoff run could have ended a few years sooner. Wang would become a free agent, and as Bryan Hoch reports:
he is the only one of New York’s four non-tender candidates who has not been mentioned by Cashman as part of the club’s outlook toward Spring Training.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre are the other non-tender candidates, all of whom should be retained. Cabrera is currently the Yankees’ starting left fielder and Cashman has spoken about Gaudin and Mitre as candidates for the back end of the rotation.
Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, said on Friday that he has been led to believe that the Yankees will non-tender Wang, at which point he will begin to engage any interested clubs on the open market.
Nero said that his expectation is that Wang will be ready to pitch in Major League games by May 1.
Wang finished the year 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) and is expected to be Major League-ready at some point between April and June, according to Cashman. But because Wang made $5 million in 2009, the largest pay reduction the Yankees could offer him if they tendered a contract would be 20 percent, or $4 million.
Given his uncertain outlook, the Yankees may believe they are better served to non-tender Wang and then attempt to re-sign him to a lesser contract.
“I think it’s difficult to rationalize a non-tender as further building a bridge with a team, but we’ll see,” Nero (Wang’s agent) said.
Should Wang become a free agent, it is thought that the Dodgers — managed by Joe Torre, a consistent supporter of the pitcher — would have some interest.
I wish him well. It’s interesting in terms of reclamation projects you hear about (the just-signed by Texas Harden, Sheets, Duchscherer), that Wang’s name isn’t coming up.
Chad Jennings over at LoHud adds that Josh Towers was signed by the Dodgers. Towers got into two games for the Yanks in 2009, going 0-0, 3.38 over 5 1/3 IP. He is 45-55, 4.95 ERA+91 for his MLB career. He will be 33 in Feb. He was 7-6, 2.74 for AAA SWB this year.