The Chicago White Sox made a series of minor moves on Thursday, including the signing of Taiwanese right-hander Chien-Ming Wang. The White Sox also dealt right-hander Dylan Axelrod to the Cincinnati Reds for an unknown return. The 34-year-old Wang will head to Triple-A Charlotte, where he will take Axelrod's place in the Knights' rotation.
Wang has seen his production fall off significantly since his 2006-2007 heyday with the New York Yankees, bouncing around the league and spending time with the Blue Jays, Nationals, Reds, and Yankees, again. At a time when much of the Yankees' early-aughts rotation was succumbing to age, Wang posted two consecutive 19 win seasons, accruing 11.0 WAR from 2006 to 2007, and finishing second in AL Cy Young voting in '06. Since missing much of 2009 and 2010 due to injury, Wang has thrown just 121.2 big league innings over the past three years, with disappointing results (5.55 ERA).
Wang was pitching in the Reds' organization this season until opting out and being released earlier this week. He has yet to pitch in the majors so far this year, and had a 3.70 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Louisville.
The 28-year-old Axelrod has pitched for the White Sox in each of the past three season, but has yet to make an appearance this year. He finally earned a full-time gig with Chicago last year, but posted a 5.68 ERA, 5.44 FIP, and 1.7 K/BB in 128.1 innings, leading to a Triple-A role in 2014. In 88 innings for the Charlotte Knights, Axelrod has a 4.50 ERA and 2.11 K/BB.
In another move, the White Sox released right-hander Deunte Heath, who will be heading to Japan. The 28-year-old has thrown 9.2 major league innings over the past two, allowing 11 runs and walking 13. He has been quite good at the Triple-A level, serving as somewhat of a swingman. Heath has a 3.22 ERA, 10.2 K/9, and 4.5 BB/9 in 64.1 innings this season.