Sat, Nov 05, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Nationals, Wang agree to new contract

Staff Writer, with CNA and AP, Washington

Taiwan’s Wang Chien-ming and the Washington Nationals agreed to the terms of a contract, pending a physical, according to the team’s Web site.

The deal is worth US$4 million plus performance bonuses, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Wang went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts for Washington last season. Relying primarily on his trademark sinker, he struck out 25 batters and walked 13 in 62-1/3 innings.

He returned to Major League Baseball on July 29, exactly two years after surgery on his right shoulder. Until then, Wang had not appeared in a big league game since July 4, 2009, when he was with the New York Yankees, for whom he twice won 19 games in a season.

Wang is currently in Taiwan, pitching for the national team against a collection of MLB players.

Wang’s agent and the Nationals had been talking about a deal to bring him back to the club, which already had given the right-hander two one-year contracts in his comeback from the shoulder operation. Wang played under a one-year contract that was worth US$1 million plus incentives last year.

Toward the end of last season, Wang indicated he wanted to return to the Nationals, saying through a translator: “I really appreciate their patience the last two years. Hopefully in the future I can win more games for them.”

The report on the Nationals’ Web site said Wang would likely be third in the rotation, behind right-handers Stephen Strasburg, who missed much of last season with an arm injury, and Jordan Zimmermann.

The Post said on Thursday that an important person in Wang’s rehabilitation was Nationals pitching rehab coordinator Mark Grater.

Grater estimated he and Wang spent roughly 500 days together in Viera, Florida, as Wang sweated through a grueling rehab.

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