The Chicago White Sox made a couple of moves this afternoon, as they made both a signing and a trade. In what may be the biggest of the signings for the Sox today, Chien-Ming Wang agreed with the club on a minor league deal. He had the deal already set up last Saturday, according to Global Sporting Integration. His opt-out date was not until July 14th (Monday). He had opted out of a deal that he had with the Cincinnati Reds. Coincidentally, he will take the place of Dylan Axelrod at Triple-A Charlotte. Today, Dylan Axelrod was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. The return is currently unknown. The two transactions may be connected in a way, as the two will switch spots as Wang goes to Charlotte and Axelrod will report to Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.
Chien-Ming Wang has had his production decline dramatically since his glory days in 2006-07 with the New York Yankees. Since then, he has bounced around the organizations of the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees (again), Reds and, now, the White Sox. In 2006 and 2007, Wang posted back-to-back 19 win seasons, while accumulating a 11.0 WAR (finished second in CY voting in 2006). During an inter-league game in 2008 at Houston, Wang hurt his ankle and was forced to miss the rest of the season.
He was never the same again. He missed most of the 2009 and 2010 seasons with different injuries. Over the past three seasons, Wang has only accumulated 121.2 innings in the majors and a disappointing 5.55 ERA. He had a very promising start to this season with Cincinnati’s Triple-A team, where he started nineteen games and recorded a 3.70 ERA.
Dylan Axelrod, who was traded to the Reds today, had stints in the big leagues in each of the past three seasons for the White Sox, but had yet to make an appearance in 2014 for their big-league club. Axelrod was given a gig in the majors last season, but wasted it, as he had a 5.68 ERA, 1.7 K/BB and 5.44 FIP in 128.1 innings of work. This lead to a start for him at the Triple-A level this season in Charlotte. At Triple-A Charlotte, Axelrod posted a 2.11 K/BB and a 4.50 ERA in 88 innings.