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December, 6, 2016

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Taiwanese MLB legend says he's considering retirement

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese former New York Yankee's pitcher and current free-agent Chien-Ming Wang (王建民) said he may retire if he fails to find a team for next season.

Wang, who was back in Taiwan for a month-long family vacation, told reporters at Taoyuan airport he was "still hoping to sign with an MLB team next year."

The 36-year-old issued a come-and-get-me plea to potential recruiters, but conceded, "If an MLB team wants me, I will play, if not, I may announce my retirement."

Wang's 2016 season ended on September after the Kansas City Royals placed him designated for assignment, removing him from the side's 40-man roster.

He had been on the team's 15-day disabled list since Aug. 31 with tendinitis in his right arm.

Wang, the New York Yankees starting pitcher from 2005 to 2008, had back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006 and 2007 before suffering a foot injury, precipitating a career slide.

After bouncing around the minor leagues for three years, Wang signed a minor-league contract with the Royals during the 2016 offseason.

The Kanas side later included Wang in its 25-man roster for the 2016 season, with the pitcher making 38 appearances, compiling a 6-0 record and a 4.22 ERA. He worked 53 1/3 innings out of the bullpen with 30 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Undecided on WBC

Wang was cool when asked whether he would represent Taiwan at the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC), saying finding a MLB team was his "top priority."

"Of course I want to represent my country, but the uncertainty about next season is something I have to think of too. I want to make myself ready for spring training to impress coaches so I can return to the MLB mound next year."

He said he had met with national team manager Kuo Tai-yuan (郭泰源) in the U.S. to discuss the matter.

Taiwan will head to Seoul next March to compete in a round-robin series of pool matches against South Korea, the Netherlands and Israel as part of the WBC's first round.

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