Here's what I wrote about Wang last week in my post last week on the remaining useful free agents out there:
The big question is his health. Over the last two years, his velocity has declined, his walks have gone up, and he's missed a bunch of time. He's coming off surgery for a torn shoulder capsule, which I've never heard of, but it sounds terrible. But if he can come back close to the guy he was, he's a very useful pitcher. He's never struck anyone out, but he pounds the zone with groundballs and would benefit from the move to the easier league. Still, this is a definite buyer-beware situation, and he's anything but the solution to the innings need.The Nationals are paying Wang $2 million for this season, which could easily be just paying for the pleasure of overseeing his rehab.
But since he won't qualify for free agency till after the 2011 season at the earliest, the Nationals are getting the rights to the player for two years while only locking in one. It's a good bet for a lot less than I would have guessed. But then again, that's probably a good reason to think that the prognosis on his shoulder isn't that good.
One other thing: anyone else noticed what a premium the team seems to be putting on signing guys that Tom Boswell (or other minimally informed baseball fans) have heard of? Jason Marquis, Pudge Rodriguez, Willy Taveras, and now Wang. (And I still can't shake the feeling that they're about to spring a Johnny Damon signing on us...)
I guess I don't mind too much since they're basically short-term relatively cheap contracts, but it's pretty obvious that the team has made marketability a fairly high priority in their signings (as opposed to, for instance, getting the best players for the money). Again, there aren't any crippling sins here, but this isn't really a good thing for fans interested in seeing the team win more games.