Nationals announce 1-year deal with RHP Wang
That doesn't mean general manager Mike Rizzo is done looking for starters. He described what he'd like to add during a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss the agreement with Wang, who was a free agent.
''The type of pitcher we're looking for,'' Rizzo said, ''is a good leader-type of guy that throws a lot of innings, that has shown he can win in the big leagues and really lead our staff - not by having the best stuff on the staff but by showing how to be a professional and how to be a winner and how to pitch 200 innings in a season.''
Wang went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts for Washington in 2011. Relying primarily on his trademark sinker, he struck out 25 batters and walked 13 in 62 1-3 innings.
He returned to the majors on July 29, exactly two years after surgery on his right shoulder. Until then, Wang hadn't 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.
In 2012, Rizzo said, ''He's going to be free of pitch counts and innings limits. ... There will be no limitations whatsoever on Chien-Ming.''
It's the third consecutive one-year deal that Wang has gotten from the Nationals, who tried to get him to at least agree to an option for a second year this time. In 2011, Wang's contract paid him a base salary of $1 million, and he earned $950,000 more in performance and roster bonuses.
His new deal also includes a chance to earn performance bonuses.
''I would describe the negotiations as very amicable, professional,'' Rizzo said. ''Nothing's automatic in this game, but Chien-Ming had stated that he wanted to be with the club and felt an obligation to sign with us. And he didn't do anything that would detract from that. He wanted to be here. It was a matter of what was a fair deal.''
For his career, Wang is 59-29 with one save and a 4.15 ERA in 120 major league appearances.
By re-signing, he remains in a rotation that is expected to be led by right-handers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, and could include lefties John Lannan and Ross Detwiler. The team also has Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone, who both spent most of 2011 in the minors but had success in brief stints with the Nationals.
''I really like the way the rotation is set right now. We have great depth there, we have great talent. We have upper-rotation guys, we have some middle-of-the-rotation guys, and we have some back-of-the-rotation guys,'' Rizzo said. ''With that said, we're certainly not satisfied - ever. You can never have enough quality starting pitching. ... We'd like to improve our starting rotation.''
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.