The Nationals have agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, according to a club source, finalizing a deal that had been in the works for weeks.
The deal, which is still pending a physical, includes a guaranteed 4 million salary and is believed to also include incentives based on the number of starts Wang makes.
Wang's return to D.C. seemed a foregone conclusion since the end of the season, when both he and the club expressed a desire to work out a new deal. He technically became a free agent this week and was free to negotiate with other teams at 12:01 a.m. today, but the Nationals already had the framework of the deal in place and needed only to finalize details.
Wang, 31, is currently in Taiwan pitching for his native country's national team against a team of major-league players that includes Nationals teammates Michael Morse, Ross Detwiler and Collin Balester.
The former 19-game winner with the Yankees originally signed with the Nationals in Feb. 2010 for 2 million after undergoing major shoulder surgery but didn't actually pitch in a big-league game until July 29, 2011 (the Nats re-signed him last winter for 1 million).
Though his first few starts back in the majors were shaky, Wang progressed with each outing and over his final three starts went 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA. In 11 total starts this season, he went 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA.
Wang will join a 2012 Nationals rotation that already includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan, but general manager Mike Rizzo is expected to pursue another veteran starter over the winter to further bolster his staff. Possible targets via free agency include C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson.