Jays to sign former Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang
Righty posted 2.33 ERA in 9 triple-A starts this season
Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang opted out of his minor league contract with the New York Yankees and plans to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Wang signed with the Yankees on March 23, and the 33-year-old right-hander was 4-4 with a 2.33 earned-run average in nine starts for triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. New York released him Friday.
He originally signed with the Yankees in 2000 and went 55-26 in five seasons. Wang has been slowed by injuries since then, starting when he injured his foot in 2008.
Wang was 2-6 with a 6.68 ERA in 10 games last year in his third season with Washington.
Agent Al Nero said the agreement with Toronto was in the process of being finalized. The Blue Jays' 4.56 ERA is 28th in the major leagues.
When asked about Wang before Toronto's home game against the Texas Rangers, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he didn't "know anything about that."
In other Blue Jays news Friday, catcher Josh Thole was recalled from triple-A Buffalo after posting a .322 batting average in 41 games with seven home runs and 31 runs batted in.
Thole, 26, was part of the trade last December that brought knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to Toronto from the New York Mets. In 104 games with the Mets last saeason, Thole hit .234 with one home run and 21 RBIs.
He has a .261 career average in 916 plate appearances at the major-league level, all with the Mets.
To make room for Thole, fellow catcher Henry Blanco was designated for assignment. He started at backstop in 13 of his 15 games with the Jays this season, hitting .184.
Blanco, 41, also has played for Colorado, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Minnesota, San Diego, Arizona, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Mets in his major league career.
Toronto also purchased the contract of infielder Andy LaRoche from Buffalo after he hit .282 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in 49 games with the Bisons in 2013.
The Blue Jays signed the 29-year-old to a minor league deal on Jan. 30 after he split the 2012 campaign with triple-A clubs in Columbus and Pawtucket of the International league.
LaRoche has played 403 games in the majors with Pittsburgh, Oakland and the Dodgers.
With files from CBCSports.ca