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  1. This is bad news for someone who was hoping his team could find a reclamation project (Wang, Chris Young, Justin Duchscherer, Ben Sheets, Brandon Webb, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden) to take a minor league deal with a lot of incentives.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — November 4, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  2. With a ground ball pitcher, the team needs one of those short stop things that doesn’t bobble every ball hit his way. Sure 20 HR from a SS is great, but it’d be nicer to get some plays from the position.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — November 4, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

  3. While Wang might still be classified as a reclamation project, he was able to pitch (and pitch pretty well) at the end of the season. It will be harder for another pitcher who hit the DL at the end of last season to claim a similar rehab path to receive a similar type deal.

    Comment by TheYellowSlant — November 4, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

  4. Agree, but you could probably break those guys into 2 groups. The half that actually pitched a fair amount last year (Bedard, Wang, Harden) and the guys that can’t stay on the field at all (Young, Duscherer, Webb, Sheets).

    I’m not sure that second group is going to get this type of money. Fool me twice, shame on me, type of thing…

    But then again, every winter I am surprised over who gets what.

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  5. Ian Desmond hit 8 HR last year.

    Comment by Ryan — November 4, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  6. A few things about this deal from a Nats fan perspecitve:
    1. I felt like the Nats got off easy with a one year commitment. Watching Wang pitch it seems fairly clear that he is healthy again. I think he might have received a two-year deal on the open market (Would the Astros not offer him 2yrs/$7M?). A two-year deal would have blocked some of the Nats SP prospects who will be ready in 2013 (I am thinking one of the following Solis (finished at A+), Purke (DNP), A Meyers(DNP), T Milone(AAA), or B Peacock(AAA) will be ready by 2013, B Meyer(AAA), D Rosenbaum(AA); 4 of the 7 are already on the 40-man).

    2. $4M for one year is worth about 0.7 WAR (@$5.5M/win). Wang produced 0.2 WAR in 60 innings this past year. If he can produce at the same level as last year over 200 innings he will earn the money.

    3. I noticed he continued to get better with each outing; looking at his game Log and the WPA for each appearance supports my observation. He had three big stinker (including the first two games he pitched), but he defintely got better. I think we can safely expect him to pitch slight better in 2012 than his overall performance in 2011 given his improvement over the course of last year.

    Comment by MK — November 4, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

  7. Wang will probably be worth the 4 million, but even if he isn’t, they have the depth to absorb that since you could argue that Milone and Peacock are actually ready for 2012. They both pitched well in September, and Milone in particular dominated AAA in 2011. He has nothing left to prove there. Peacock’s year looked a little fluky with all the levels he traversed, but he has the better stuff. Plus, according to recent comments by their GM, Rizzo, they would seem to be a strong bidder on Buehrle, so Wang might end up as the #4 Starter, and a guy like Detwiler whose recent results look promising would be dropped from the rotation if that happens, likely as the longman Davey Johnson craves.

    Comment by mockcarr — November 4, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  8. LaRoche coming back at 1B will help Wang some, even with the injury, he was excellent over there early in the year. Desmond might be average to a bit below, but Zimmerman and Espinosa are very good.

    Comment by mockcarr — November 4, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  9. For those itching to make a Wang joke, just remember it’s pronounced “Wong.”


    Comment by Brad Johnson — November 4, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  10. Ok so has everyone forgot what wang did with the yankees? I know wins mean nothing, but for those couple of years his era was sub 4. In the al east! Wang when healthy was easily if not the best, one of the best sinkerballers we’ve seen in the past decade.
    if healthy wang, will easly post an era in the 3′s and be well worth more then 4 million.
    Stop being dumb fan graphs, he’s a top tier non fantasy pitcher

    Comment by cdawg — November 4, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  11. I’m not sure it’s fair to assume we’re talking about the same player. Vintage Wang’s value was entirely tied up in his ability to limit HR/FB to a sub-.50 ratio. I see no reason not to expect something more in the 1.00-1.20 range. I’m not entirely sure those results weren’t a fluke.

    Keep in mind this is a Wang who throws 2 MPH slower than the vintage version, has less differential on his change up velocity, and now throws what can only be described as a crappy curveball.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — November 4, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  12. Disappointing to see the lack of an easy “Wang” pun in the title

    Comment by bender — November 4, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  13. Says Brad Johnson (pronouned “John-Sone”)

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  14. You could say the same type of things about Brandon Webb, but I don’t think anyone is ponying up $4M guaranteed this winter…

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  15. These headlines write themselves — I’d have probably gone with something like “Nats Give Wang a Pricey Extension”

    Comment by Yinka Double Dare — November 4, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

  16. Wang’s injuries were freakish though, a foot injury running? Which more than likely caused stress on his shoulder do to altercation of his delivery.
    Prior to this wang was a durable starter, is it too far of a reach to think that wang’s injuries are behind him? I mean they were freakish….
    Now being on the east coast, and watching “vintage wang” I remember he threw a slider that was ALRIGHT.
    Hearing him change to a shitty curveball is kind of disapointing, although his bread and butter was and will always be that sinker.

    Random question though brad, What do you think his numbers look like, if he pitches 200 innings?

    Comment by cdawg — November 4, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  17. “Nats want more Wang”
    “Nats to spend 4 million annually on Wang”
    “Wang talk reaches climax”

    Comment by ms — November 4, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  18. He did okay in NY with Jeter “fielding” behind him. If Desmond really worse than that? As for 3B and 2B, these very good defensive players. I’m not sure I’m too worried about Wang being a ground ball pitcher with that defense behind him.

    Comment by KDL — November 4, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  19. I would have gone with “Nats want their Wang back”.

    Comment by J — November 4, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  20. Brandon Webb is a perfect example of a reclamation project, and why I think this article has (in real estate parlance) gotten the comps wrong. A true reclamation project is someone coming back from injury and hasn’t yet proved that he’s healthy. Brandon Webb, for example – not now, but entering 2011. Did not pitch in 2010. Pitched four innings in 2009, for cryin’ out loud. Signed with the Texas Rangers for … $3 million for 2011. Webb isn’t going to get that this offseason, but that’s because he didn’t pitch at all for his $3 million last season.

    Given the state of pitching in MLB, I do think that Wang could have gotten a $5-6 million deal in free agency this year. By making 11 starts, getting better with more repetition, and finishing healthy Wang moved himself into a different category. He’s not all the way back. He thinks he’s going to be, though, because that’s why he flatly refused to include a team option for 2013.

    Comment by John C. — November 4, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  21. Let’s consider one thing about Wang. He’s one of two players currently in the bigs from Taiwan and the only one with a history of success. Taiwan is a country of 23M+. According to his wiki page, all of Wangs games are shown on National Television. This may not still be on going, but if it is, I’m sure that cuts into his price tag a BIG deal, not to mention any memorabilia sales, or other profits that come from having a National star aboard.

    I am curious as to how much teams receive from TV deals overseas. Is this money for MLB or is it for the team? In Korea, for example, EVERY Cleveland Indian game is shown nationally. If the Tribe are getting a lot of change for this, why don’t more teams dip into the player pools in Asia for an 8th or 9th hitter?

    Comment by Brandon Heikoop — November 4, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

  22. I believe all overseas revenue is divided 30 ways.

    Comment by Steve — November 4, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

  23. It would be the Wang move to do something wike that.

    Comment by JG — November 4, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

  24. If I was involved with the team, I’d be more interested in the potential of having the Nationals be a big baseball brand in Taiwan and thus be more likely to sign young Taiwanese players.

    Comment by JG — November 4, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  25. the 4 million dollar wang

    Comment by gimpcom — November 4, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

  26. “Nats Hope to Make Big Splash with 4 Million Dollar Wang”

    Comment by DavidCEisen — November 4, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

  27. Nationals get the Wang that they wanted

    Comment by Curtiss — November 4, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  28. I went to two Nats home games in which Wang pitched. The Taiwanese come out and support him. He might not be a Strasburg like draw, but he definitely is one.

    Comment by Andrew — November 4, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  29. The difference between an above average SS and a below average one is how many plays a year?

    Now divide that by ~7 to account for the innings that Wang throws vs the overall innings, maybe it is a little less than 7 as Wang’s GB rate is above average. This is assuming a starter is throwing a 200 innings/year, which is probably not the case for Wang

    So a poor defensive player might be impacting how many plays behind a specific pitcher?

    —-> While the impact of the SS to the team might be significant, the impact of the SS on one starting pitcher (say 200innings out of the over 1400 innings in a given year) is not as great as people like to think it is.

    Comment by joe — November 5, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  30. Out of all the dumpster diving for starting pitching they felt most comfortable with wang since they had him the past year or 2. Other people were bidding for him and honestly in the nats situation i would rather over pay for him then bid for any of the others mentioned since they have a good solid history and understanding where Wang is at.

    He pitches half a year he’ll cover the 4mil probably, is it a risk? Yes, does this contract suck anywhere near as much as the Rivera deal? Not even in the same ballpark. Even a health Rivera will at best cover his cost, If Wang is just what he was at the end of the year for half a year he becomes a Win cost wise for the Nats.

    4Mil for a #4/5 starter or 4mil for a platoon OF that puts up average numbers and cant field his position?~ pretty easy choice imo.

    Comment by aj — November 5, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  31. My concern with the signing is that it will deny a rotation spot to one of several young pitchers: Peacock, Detwiler or Milone. There’s reason to believe that each of these is ready for the majors (which is not to say they all will succeed).

    Even without Wang, one of these three would be denied a shot (assuming Strasburg, Zimmermann and Lannan have their spots locked up). Meanwhile, the Nationals have lots of top pitching prospects who will be ready soon, so there’s no time to waste to see whether Peacock, Detwiler and/or Milone can fulfill their promise.

    Comment by Anatymous — November 5, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  32. The redsox proved the “too many starters” issue to be insane. Its better to have one of those young guys force there way into the rotation then to have them bomb and be short a starter. Keep Wang make those 3 compete, when they force there way into the role either trade Lannan or Wang, Demote Wang to bullpen or if hes pitching poorly dump him. If he comes out and shows anything like he had before im sure they can swap him for a B- or Cish prospect or 2. Half a season more in the minors for peacock/milone wont hurt them any and will save the nats money down the line.

    Comment by aj — November 6, 2011 @ 1:24 am

  33. We will know for sure is Desmond is the guy for 2013 after this season.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — November 6, 2011 @ 1:30 am

  34. nats park is not an easy place to hit home runs. Wang will keep it below 1.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — November 6, 2011 @ 1:34 am

  35. “if Desmond is”

    sorry typo

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — November 6, 2011 @ 1:36 am

  36. When you drop balls hit straight at you and miss the throw to first… you can really impact an inning. Watching Desmond play I sometimes think, “man, if this was the AL and he was playing 1B, I’d want to move him to DH.”

    Comment by Barkey Walker — November 6, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

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