Taiwan’s ace pitcher Wang Chien-ming said yesterday he is aiming to return to Major League Baseball (MLB) in the US.
Wang, who pitched 12 scoreless innings in two World Baseball Classic (WBC) games against Australia and Japan earlier this month, made the remarks prior to his departure from Tokyo for Taipei.
Local media reports said Wang’s outstanding performance in the WBC first and second rounds impressed Japanese baseball scouts and that a number of the country’s professional baseball teams are interested in recruiting him.
The reports speculated that Wang had postponed his return to Taipei from Sunday to yesterday in order to talk with interested Japanese baseball teams.
Wang, who became a free agent after the Washington Nationals did not tender him at the end of last year’s MLB season, denied the reports, saying he had remained in Tokyo for the additional day for “sightseeing around the city.”
He also said at Tokyo airport that he did not know whether any Japanese teams were interested in recruiting him.
“The contract issue is all being handled by my agent,” Wang said, adding that it all depends how his agent works things out.
The pitcher said he would stay in Taiwan for a few days before departing for the US.
The 32-year-old right-hander recorded 19 wins in 2006 and 2007 when he pitched for the Yankees.
Hundreds of local baseball fans swarmed to Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) to greet Wang. Passionate fans who jammed the arrival lounge welcomed Wang with loud cheers and chants.