Chien-Ming Wang to sign minor league contract with Cincinnati Reds

2013/12/19 20:26:57

Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (second right) in a baseball camp in Taipei Nov. 14.

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang clinched a deal this week with the Cincinnati Reds that will see him play in the minor leagues with an invitation to the spring training session of the major leagues, his agent said Thursday.

Octagon, the firm that represents Wang, said in a news release that the 33-year-old right-hander agreed to the minor-league deal in the hopes of an eventual return to the major leagues.

Under the contract, Wang will receive a monthly salary of US$15,000, which will be upped to an annual US$1.25 million paycheck if he is called up. His total pay could hit US$3 million if he meets the conditions for bonuses.

Major league spring training usually begins in mid-February.

Chris Chang, an Octagon media relations representative in Taiwan, said that Wang was not too concerned with his salary or which team he will play on.

"What counts most (to him) is a chance to return to the major leagues," Chang said.

Wang returned to the United States professional baseball this year after New York Yankees signed him on for a minor league contract.

After Wang became a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, several major league baseball teams have offered him similar contracts, but Wang said he agreed to play for the Reds because he believes it will give him a better chance at getting back up to the major leagues.

Wang has reportedly turned down offers from professional teams in Taiwan and Japan because of that goal.

Bryan Price, a manager for the Cincinnati Reds, said he was impressed with Wang's past performance, noting that although the team has a stable starting rotation, it needs an experienced player like Wang, according to Octagon.

Wang has been training recently in Tainan and is scheduled to return to the United States in early January to prepare for the MLB 2014 season due to begin in late March.

Wang was a star player with the New York Yankees from 2005 to 2008, going 54-20 with a 3.79 ERA until he suffered a career-derailing injury to his foot while running the bases at a Houston game in June 2008.

While recovering in 2009, he injured his arm, ending his career with the Yankees. He has not managed to regain his peak form despite a comeback attempt with the Washington Nationals in 2011 and 2012 and another with the Blue Jays this year.

(By Lee Yu-cheng and Lilian Wu)
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