Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming has decided to join the Toronto Blue Jays to play in the major league, his agent Alan Chang confirmed on Friday.
Returning to the major league mound has been Wang’s ultimate goal, Chang said. However, he had been told there was little chance of moving up to the major league in the short term if he stayed with the New York Yankees.
The Yankees announced earlier in the day their plans to release Wang and then confirmed the 33-year-old right-hander’s decision to sign with the Blue Jays.
Wang was 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts for the Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He was named Pitcher of the Week by the International League for the week of May 27 to June 2.
According to Chang, Wang would merely be paid with a basic salary of US$500,000 year and enjoy no incentive bonus at the Blue Jays due to the team’s limited budget. However, it is a major league contract, Chang said.
Wang had once valued US$5 million a year in his prime time in the major league, and helped the Yankees with back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007 before hurting his foot running the bases in 2008. He returned to the Yankees on an initial minor league contract in March this year.
Wang is scheduled to formally report to the Blue Jays on Monday and is expected to start in the game against the White Sox on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by staff reporter