The Toronto Blue Jays will sign right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang to a major league contract after he opted out of his minor league deal with the New York Yankees, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Wang, who had a special clause in his contract with the Yankees that allowed him to leave the organization and pursue a major league opportunity at any time, will start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Chicago, according to Rosenthal.
After signing a minor league contract with the Yankees in March, Wang has spent the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and has performed well, posting a 4-4 record and 2.33 ERA in nine starts. His plan was to stay with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until he was offered a major league opportunity, and opted to stay in the minors at the end of each of the past two months when he was unable to secure a major league job. His next opt-out date was technically June 30th, but the Yankees decided to grant his release once the opportunity with the Blue Jays arose.
The 33-year old drew interest from at least six teams, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, but the Jays were the first to offer him a spot in their starting rotation. Following injuries to starters J.A. Happ and Brandon Morrow and the struggles of former ace Ricky Romero, the Jays first planned to use prospect Chad Jenkins (1-0, 3.60 ERA in the big leagues this year) to fill the role, but decided that Wang would be the best option once it was realized that he could leave the Yankees organization at any time. When Wang makes his start on Tuesday, he will be the 12th different starting pitcher to take the mound for the last-place Jays, who entered Friday's action with a record of 25-34.
Wang will join his third organization after spending his career in the majors with the Yankees (2005-2009) and Nationals (2011-2012). In 130 games over seven major league seasons, Wang has a 61-32 record and 4.26 career ERA in the majors.