Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CMW: Earning His Keep.....

Good insight on CMW's possible arbitration hearing. Read more here.

Essentially the 2 major factors working against Wang are:
1)health concerns (history of shoulder surgery and a non-surgically repaired rotator cuff tear)
2)his implosion during the 2007 playoffs

Working in Wang's favor is his production. You could argue that Wang was a key component in helping his team to reach the post season the past 2 years. He led the NYY pitching staff and won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007.
The Yankes won their division by 10 games in 2006. Although the Yankees lost to the Tigers in the Division Championship Series that year, it seems to be forgotten that Wang won the only game for the Yankees in that Series.
In 2007, the Yankees won the AL wild card by 6 games over the Tigers and Mariners. We all know about Wang's forgettable 2 outings during the ALDS against the Indians.
The key thing to remember about all of this is the revenue generated by ticket sales and other venues during the two home games played during each of the 2 past post seasons. The Yankees profited further by making it to the playoffs.

Wang's marketability is also undeniable. He is the face of Taiwan to many unfamiliar with the tiny island nation. When I was in Taiwan last May, Wang's image and news saturated the media 24-7, making it easy for anyone to understand why the NYY organization is the most popular ML team in Taiwan. Hence you can imagine the kind of revenue that Wang generates for MLB and the Yankees. Wang is the main reason for why this lucrative MLB television deal was accomplished in Taiwan. From my personal perspective, I am not a Yankees fan, but I do own a few officially licensed CMW apparel that have the Yankees logo emblazoned prominently.

The above-article suggests that the Yankees are standing firm on their offer of $4 million based on Dontrelle Willis's record-breaking 2006 contract ($4.35 million for a first-time arbitration eligible SP). However if you factor in inflation (let's say we put that number at 3% annually), Dontrelle's contract in 2006 would be worth around ~ $4.61 million today. Is it a coincidence that Wang's sports agency is currently asking for $4.6 million?

Looking at the numbers, Wang and Willis both had pretty similar numbers over the first 3 years of their career:
Dontrelle won 46 games, lost 27 and had a 3.28 ERA from '03-'05.
Wang won 46 games, lost 18 and had a 3.74 ERA from '05-'07.

Willis helped his team to the playoffs in one of those 3 years (The Marlins did win the WS in '03). The Yankees have been to the post season in every one of Wang's first 3 years (although the Yanks have not been able to get out of the ALDS these past 3 post seasons).

Should this go to arbitration, it'll be interesting to see how all this plays out. Personally, I feel Wang deserves the $4.6 million.

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