The Pirates have claimed left-handed pitcher Wei-Chung Wang off waivers from the Athletics, according to an official Athletics announcement. Wang was designated for assignment on Friday. It’ll be something of a reunion for the 27-year-old, who joins the same Pirates organization that signed him as a free agent in 2011 to make his professional debut.
Pitching in the Majors for the first time since 2017, Wang’s performance in Oakland was fine, at least on the surface. He’s sporting a nice 3.33 ERA through 27 innings of work, though in that stretched he has mustered a meager 16:11 K:BB ratio. For that reason, along with other peripheral indicators that suggest Wang is unlikely to maintain his current level, Oakland felt more confident in its other lefty options, a deep group that includes new arrivals Jake Diekman and A.J. Puk.
If Wang gets a chance in the Pittsburgh bullpen, he’ll join fellow southpaws Francisco Liriano and Felipe Vazquez. On the whole, the Pirates’ bullpen has been a strong unit, though it’s a bit of a top-heavy one. There should be an opportunity for Wang to sneak into a role as a low-leverage option for the Bucs and audition for a heightened role.
Wang is in his last option season, meaning that his Pirates tenure could very well be a short one. If he wants to continue his Pittsburgh career beyond this year, he’ll need to crack the 2020 Opening Day roster, otherwise he’ll be subjected to waivers out of spring training.