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I’m home sick with a cold, sinus, and congestion. So while I’m sitting in bed blowing my nose every five minutes, I’ve been reading blogs and people’s tweets on Twitter.  Here are some things for you all to read about this morning.

Top stories from last week:

  • The Winter Meetings in Indianapolis produced the busiest week of the Yankees’ offseason. They kicked it off by dealing reliever Brian Bruney to the Nationals in exchange for the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft.
  • Early last week, we got word the Yanks were working on a three team trade to land Curtis Granderson. They agreed to a deal on Tuesday, sending Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke elsewhere. Once the medicals were reviewed the deal was made official.
  • On Wednesday, Andy Pettitte solidified the rotation by agreeing to a one year, $11.75M contract, though he may have rejected the team’s initial offer. The next day, the Yanks used the first pick in the Rule 5 Draft to select Dodgers outfielder Jamie Hoffmann, who will compete for a bench spot in Spring Training. Some thought the Yanks should have used the pick to take one of their own.
  • The Granderson pickup allows the Yanks to put some pressure on Johnny Damon and Scott Boras. The two sides remain very far apart during negotiations, though they Yanks may offer two years at $10M each, which could close the gap. The Yanks have some competition for Hideki Matsui, and they also have the option of dealing a spare outfielder.
  • The week concluded with Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, and Melky Cabrera receiving contract offers for 2010, while Chien-Ming Wang was non-tendered. The writing had been on the wall for some time, and Wang rejected the team’s split-contract offer.
  • The Yanks expressed interest in various free agent pitchers throughout the week, including Ben Sheets, Kelvim Escobar, and Ryota Igarashi, and of course they’re still in on Roy Halladay. They might not have room for another big contract, however.
  • And finally, the front office wants to bring the entire coaching staff back.

Today is the lat day for the Yankees to offer Chien-Ming Wang a contract. But it won’t happen. Ken Davidoff is reporting that the Yankees will not be tendering him a contract.

The Yankees’ top priority this offseason remains improving their starting rotation. On Saturday, however, they’ll bid farewell to the pitcher who has won the most games since Brian Cashman became a bona fide general manager. Chien-Ming Wang, still rehabilitating after right shoulder surgery, will not be tendered a contract by the Yankees Saturday. He might very well top the list of non-tenders throughout the industry.

Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, has said the righthander could be ready by Opening Day, but Cashman said this past week that he thinks Wang will be back sometime between April and June. The Yankees simply don’t think Wang will be able to contribute in any significant fashion in 2010.

Wang was signed by the Yanks as an international free agent in 2000. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and turned in three very strong seasons for the Yankees. In mid-2008 disaster struck when Wang suffered a freak Lisfranc injury while running the bases during a game in Houston.

After undergoing foot surgery last year, he suffered through a bout of horrendous ineffectiveness early in the 2009 season. In his first three appearances of the year, he lasted just 6 innings and allowed 23 earned runs on 23 hits and six walks. After spending a month on the disabled list to build up his lower body strength, he came back in late May and was better. Over his final nine games for the Yanks, he went 1-3 with a 5.50 ERA in 36 innings. An encouraging sign was the 27 strike outs, but he left his July 4th start with shoulder pains. A few weeks later, after three different opinions, he opted for labrum surgery, ending his season.

At this point, the Yankees are moving forward without Wang in their plans. Wang wants to remain in the Bronx. The Dodgers, and Wang’s old manager, have expressed interest in him.

When I was in Taiwan last September, the place I stayed at for USA’s training camp was pretty close to Wang’s hometown. One of the other committee members who is also a Yankee fan and I talked with the hotel staff. They were very proud of Wang and his accomplishments. They told us that Wang lived “over there” and frequented the small city we were staying at. Yankee games were on all the time via YES in Taiwan and there were scores of children and grown men with the #40. He was an icon and a superstar in Taiwan.

The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make regarding their pitching for next season.  Although the Yankees won in the playoffs with a three-man rotation, they need 3 great pitchers, 2 good pitchers and 2 solid backups in Triple-A, not to mention a strong bullpen to repeat as champs in 2010.  Joel Sherman and his Hardball blog has a detailed update on several of the Yankee pitchers, although he does not give any indication where he got the information from. I will report for now – I plan on waiting a couple of weeks before sharing my opinions.  I need some more time to evaluate.

Sherman says the Yankees have already decided to keep Sergio Mitre, whether it is by picking up his $1.25 Million option or waiting for salary arbitration.  Mitre was an on-again, off-again starting pitcher for the Yankees this past season.  Despite a 3-3 record with a 6.79 ERA, the Yankees must think he will be a better pitcher next season or that he may be a decent back-up plan in case of an injury to a starting pitcher, but I doubt he has any chance to compete for a starting 5 slot.

Sherman also says the Yankees will ask Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain to be ready to compete for the starting rotation in 2010.  He also predicts that the Yankees will make an offer to Chien-Ming Wang to return next season, but it will be for much less than the $5 Million he was paid this season.

Before the season, many called that amount a steal for a pitcher like Wang, and it was considering he had won 19 games in 2006 and 2007 and was pitching extremely well in 2008 before getting injured midway through.  Unless you were living under a rock this season, you know he wasn’t pitching well this season and was injured again.

As a result of that injury, Sherman predicts that Wang will not be ready to pitch until May 2010.

I arrived back to the states via a red-eye flight on Thursday morning. I went immediately to work and by 3pm I was non-operational. Had to call in sick the next day to recover. A 12-hour sleep did wonders. Now I’m back on normal time, for the most part. I get headaches here and there and by 8pm some evenings I’m ready to crash.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei. As I explained in a previous post, I ran the U.S. team’s media coverage and it was an amazing experience.

Now onto the Yankees — wow. I’m literally amazed at how much Yankee-fever has gripped this island nation. They are truly proud of their native son, Chien-Ming Wang. Nearly 99% of the fans have his #40, along with Yankee hats everywhere. The Yankees are on everyday — both live in the mornings (usually 7am since it’s 7pm the night before), or in a tape delay later in the day.

Here’s a picture of the Yankees on TV on a commuter bus.

Of course when it comes to the Yankees, I do wonder what will happen if they do not re-sign Wang this winter. Will Taiwan become a hater-nation?

I have discovered from the hotel manager where I am staying at that Chien-Ming Wang’s home is close to where I am staying for the U.S. Deaflympic Team Training Camp in southern Taiwan. I am going to find out more information and hopefully when I do, I will blog about it.

Amazing how Wang lives close to Chia-Yi. It would be cool if I could go paparazzi on him and find him.

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