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Though the Nationals are involved in serious discussions with Chien-Ming Wang, they're not yet close to finalizing a deal with the free-agent right-hander.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reported on Twitter this morning that the two sides were "close" to an agreement, but a club source said that report was premature. The Nats remain a strong contender to land Wang, but hurdles still remain before a deal would be completed, and it may be days before anything gets done.
Wang, 29, is coming off two injury-plagued seasons with the Yankees and may not be ready to pitch in the majors until May.
The Taiwanese pitcher was a key cog in New York's rotation in 2006-07, winning 19 games each season. But injuries limited him to only 24 combined starts the last two seasons, and he underwent shoulder surgery in July after going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA. The Yankees nontendered him in December.
Washington general manager Mike Rizzo has been pursuing a veteran starter all winter, seeking to bolster a rotation that currently features only two known quantities in John Lannan and Jason Marquis (who signed a two-year, $15 million contract in December). Even though Wang (who turns 30 on March 31) is unlikely to be ready to the start the season, the Nationals see him as a potential piece in their long-term rebuilding plan.