The KC Royals designated pitcher Chien-Ming Wang for assignment Saturday afternoon. Wang went to the 15 disabled list August 31 and last appeared for the Kansas City Royals on August 30 against the Yankees.
Chien-Ming Wang joined the KC Royals after signing a free-agent deal last winter. He had not appeared in major-league baseball in since pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays as a starting pitcher in 2013. Before coming to Kansas City, Wang had pitched eight seasons in MLB. CBSSports.com reported his release.
Wang’s best seasons came for the New York Yankees in 2006 and 2007 in which he won 19 games in both seasons. He finished second in Cy Young voting for the American League due to his outstanding 19-6, 3.63 ERA season in 2006 at age 26.
However, Wang became a reliever for the KC Royals at age 36 in 2016. He appeared in 38 games and compiled a 6-0 record with a 4.22 ERA. While he was hardly dominant, Wang’s adjusted ERA (ERA+) of 106 was 6% better than a league average pitcher. However, baseball reference Wins Above Replacement (bWAR) viewed him as an exactly replacement-level hurler (0.0 bWAR).
According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, the Kansas City Royals released Wang to make room for starter Jason Vargas, who will take his first start of the season on Saturday:
In the end, Jason Vargas is much more likely to help out the KC Royals in 2017. Given that Wang has been nothing more than a 36-year-old garbage time reliever, he’s unlikely to return in 2017.
Chien-Ming Wang’s comeback story with the Kansas City Royals has come to an end. While he hardly lived up to the standards of recent reclamation projects like Joe Blanton and Ryan Madson, Wang was occasionally effective in the 2016. He also provided endless amusement on #Royals Twitter due to ample “Wang” jokes from fans.
I guess there are worse legacies.