Wang Re-Ups

The Teixeira saga continues, and the Yankee have signed yet another pitcher, this time their own Chien-Ming Wang, who agreed to a 1-year, $5-million contract, thereby avoiding arbitration. That he signed a contract with a total value somewhere on the order of $75 million less than a teammate in the same general area in the talent spectrum indicates the unhealthy absurdity that is baseball's economic structure. 

13 comments… add one
  • Who is Wang’s agent?
    Two 19 game win seasons and he signs for 5 million? Am I missing something?
    This is an excellent deal for NY provided he can return to his normal self.

    Brad December 23, 2008, 10:58 am
  • He was going into arb after a year lost to injury. This wasn’t a free agency. The terms were controlled by the framework of the system.

    YF December 23, 2008, 11:07 am
  • yeah, I understand that, YF. But, my point is that Wang, while not considered as an ace by most folks, could have probably gotten more than that even in arbitration, and if nothing else made the point that he doesn’t like being paid like a third rate player when EVERYONE on the pitching staff makes more than him.
    He could have taken Cashman to the table and forced the issue that he deserves more than half of what they paid Carl Pavano per season.

    Brad December 23, 2008, 11:21 am
  • Wang will have his payday soon enough, dont worry…

    sam-YF December 23, 2008, 11:29 am
  • That’s a nice thought in ImaginaryLand, Brad, or perhaps a reasonable thought for a reasonable world, but in either case irrelevant to the highly constrained arbitration system, wherein free agent contracts signed by teammates are not relevant milestones. Note that Wang LOST his arb case last year coming off a 19 win season.
    Over on the Banter, Cliff Corcoran parses the fact that the Yanks did not offer Wang a multiyear dear for the remainder of his arb seasons (as they did with Cano), and speculates that they plan to let him go when he his FA. I’m not so sure, but it certainly seems prudent to hold off on signing pitchers to multiyear deals given inherent risk and the depth of the Yankee system. If nothing else, the Yanks gave themselves some flexibility, something they are in need of given the deals to CC/AJ.
    But, again, Wang was in NO position to hold the Yanks up for a big payday. Had he tried, he would have lost his case.

    YF December 23, 2008, 11:31 am
  • Well, pardon me.
    I guess to assume that Wang probably might have actually proven a point to NY’s front office, if not win the case altogether, was a futile point to make.

    Brad December 23, 2008, 11:52 am
  • What point would have been proven, Brad?
    Wang had limited options. Losing an arbitration case doesn’t prove anything, no matter what wonderful statistics are presented.

    SF December 23, 2008, 11:58 am
  • You’re missing my point, guys.
    All I’m saying that on the surface it’s just not right that he makes that much money, and he could have made it known, on a personal level, that he’s not happy about it, although I could be wrong and he’s perfectly happy making that much. What the hell do I know?
    Calm down.

    Brad December 23, 2008, 12:28 pm
  • I actually agree with your essential point Brad: the disparity in salaries is not right–i think i made that clear in the initial post. It’s just that the Yankees in this case are not the culprits, and Wang would only hurt himself if “going to the mats.” I think players do need to figure out how to change the system, but to a large extent they’ve CREATED the problem, as the union is pretty much responsible for installing the arbitration process. The economics of baseball has changed dramatically over the past 40 years, and needs some major readjusting.

    YF December 23, 2008, 12:51 pm
  • Agreed, YF.

    Brad December 23, 2008, 1:02 pm
  • The disparity in salaries is barely worth concern. It is a product of the Players’ Union’s hard work. I hardly see a reason to feel bad for Wang or anyone else in his situation or that he is disadvantaged. He has seen an astronomical increase in salary in just a few years of service time.
    If the players are unhappy with arbitration, then they are going to have to give something up in return for a modification.

    SF December 23, 2008, 1:11 pm
  • I think it’s a huge concern. It’s emblematic of the overall problem with the economics of the game, which could use a massive overhaul. Fans and taxpayers are the ones, in the end, bankrolling the system, and we should demand a reasonable system of revenue sharing. So just as its a problem that executive pay has become disproportionate with average worker salary, the disparity between star and journeyman is sad here. Most professional ballplayers earn a pittance, when you add in minor leaguers. Within the MLB union, power is held disproportionately by those at the top end of the wage scale, and those beholden to entrenched systems. That leads to all kinds of problems that I’d rather not get into here. Suffice it to say that “Wang has made enormous overall profit” because of the system the union worked to develop,” does not mean that the system doesn’t need revision.

    YF December 23, 2008, 1:50 pm
  • funny stuff…first the yanks get criticized for paying players too much, now they’re being criticized for not paying a particular player enough…uh, ok…more appropriate to beat them for simply being the yankees but admire them for masterfully manipulating a system they didn’t create…

    dc December 23, 2008, 7:06 pm

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