That the Yankees are among the 15 teams that have checked in with Chien-Ming Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, isn’t a surprise.
When the Yankees non-tendered the pitcher in December Brian Cashman said the team’s relationship with the pitcher wasn’t necessarily over.
"There's no doubt that we had to make a tough decision," Cashman said then. "We are still hopeful that our relationship can continue, but those decisions are yet to be made."
Wang was in the news Monday as he received a favorable prognosis – being able to throw off a mound in 6-8 weeks – from Dr. James Andrews. Andrews operated on Wang’s right shoulder July 29.
But, prognosis aside, Wang is still very much a long shot to return to the Bronx. The Yankees non-tendered the righthander, who made $5 million last year, because they didn’t want to offer him a $4-million deal (teams can't offer their players more than a 20 percent pay cut).
With Cashman already close to the budget set for him by Hal Steinbrenner, the bulk of the remaining money is expected to be spent on a leftfielder. The best offer Wang would be likely to get from the Yankees would be a minor-league contract and he presumably could do better elsewhere, even with how productive he can actually be in 2010 very much in question.
Still, as you know when it comes to these things, the door’s never completely closed until it is.