The New York Yankees continued to firm up their starting rotation by signing Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming to a one-year US$5 million deal, the Major League Baseball team said on Monday.
After signing free agents C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett on huge contracts last week, the Yankees continued their spending spree by locking up Wang and avoiding salary arbitration.
The right-hander was 8-2 with a 4.07 ERA for the New Yorkers last season despite spending the last half of the schedule on the disabled list with an injured right foot.
Wang went on the disabled list in June with a sprained ligament and partially torn tendon in his right foot, leaving the Yankees without their ace as they missed the MLB playoffs with an 89-73 record.
Despite not requiring surgery, he was on crutches and had to wear a protective boot.
The cast was removed on July 29, but the extensive rehabilitation process prevented Wang from pitching for the remainder of the season.
Wang has won 38 games in the past two seasons for the Yankees and finished second in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2006.
The 28-year-old’s 54 career wins rank third among Asian-born pitchers and helped him become the third-fastest Major League pitcher in the last 50 years to reach 50 wins.
While Wang is 54-20 with a 3.79 ERA in four seasons with the Yankees, the man from Tainan won’t be counted on to lead their starting staff next year following the acquisitions of Sabathia and Burnett.
Sabathia, who won the Cy Young Award last year as the best pitcher in the American League, went 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA last season for the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians.
Burnett was 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays this year.
The Yankees will also have Joba Chamberlain in their starting rotation and are trying to bring back Andy Pettitte, who is a free agent. Mike Mussina retired after winning 20 games for New York last season.
Additional reporting by staff writer