Will Wang Return To Washington?
Wang appreciates the Nats' patience.
Wang appreciates the Nats' patience.

Posted Sep 19, 2011

Chien-Ming Wang took another key step in his comeback from shoulder surgery Sunday, pitching 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 win over the Marlins. It was the furthest into a game he has pitched since June 10, 2008. And after the game, it had manager Davey Johnson thinking about Wang's future with the team.

The Nationals signed the right-hander to a one-year, $2 million deal in 2010, but he didn't pitch at all for them after rehabbing all season from shoulder surgery. They non-tendered him last December, only to re-sign him to another incentive-laden deal, this time with a $1 million base salary.

After Wang spent all of 2010 building arm strength, general manager Mike Rizzo was confident the former 19-game winner could return to the majors this season. Now that he's made 10 starts, posting a 4.31 ERA, the Nationals will have to make a decision about where he fits in their future.

Wang is a free agent after this season, and while he isn't likely to command a huge salary, there could be some interest in him on the free agent market. The Nationals are hoping the two contracts they gave him will curry some favor after this season. And from what Wang said after Sunday's game, they could get their wish.

"Hopefully I can come back here. The decision is made by the team, but personally I would like to come back," Wang said. "I really appreciate their patience the last two years. Hopefully in the future I can win more games for them."

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