WASHINGTON -- General manager Mike Rizzo said that the Nationals are not close to re-signing right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to an extension but that the club is still communicating with Wang's agent, Alan Nero.
Wang has said that he feels loyal to the Nationals because they stuck with him for almost two years while he was recovering from shoulder problems. Wang went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts this season.
"We are trying to negotiate a contract. I wouldn't describe it as imminent or close. We are still communicating," Rizzo said. "We still have a mutual interest for Chien-Ming to sign with the Nationals. That's the best I could put it at this time."
Wang is expected to play in the Taiwan All-Star Series next month, and as he is expected to file for free agency shortly after the World Series, the Nationals can't tell him how many innings he can pitch in the series.
"Once he becomes a free agent, we lose the right to monitor him or make any suggestions on work load," Rizzo said. "But he has an intelligent agent, who has been doing this for a long time, and we discussed what we believe are the parameters on how he should pitch in that tournament. They are going to be very careful and realistic about it."
Rizzo has plan regarding Strasburg
WASHINGTON -- General manager Mike Rizzo has a general idea as to how many innings right-hander Stephen Strasburg will throw in 2012, but he will not give out the details until he sees Strasburg in Spring Training.
"I'm not going to disclose it to anybody, but there is strategy employed in it, and we don't want people to know our business," Rizzo said. "We have a good idea of the parameters. We'd adhere to those parameters. There is nothing concrete, because we want to see how he comes to Spring Training, how he feels, how he develops throughout the season, if there are any setbacks or anything like that. If there are no setbacks, we have general parameters that we would adhere to."
Darvish on Washington's radar
WASHINGTON -- General manager Mike Rizzo has acknowledged that the Nationals scouted right-hander Yu Darvish several times this year.
Darvish, 26, plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League in Japan and is considered a dominating pitcher, with a career 2.12 ERA in 1,036 1/3 innings, striking out 974 batters and walking 297.
Darvish helped Japan win the World Baseball Classic in 2009.
"We are open to acquire talent any way, shape or form that we can," Rizzo said. "If it's international talent, we are certainly willing to acquire international players."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.