Kerry Wood Rumors


Quick Hits: Prospects, Ross, Wood, Francis

The Tigers can tie the White Sox for the AL Central lead today, but it'll take a win over the Royals and some help from the Indians, who are visiting the south side of Chicago. Here are today's links...

  • Athletics first-round selection Addison Russell tops Baseball America's list of the 20 best prospects from the rookie-level Arizona League. The A's selected the high school shortstop 11th overall, and he hit .415/.488/.717 in 26 games in the Arizona League before being promoted to Class A ball.
  • Cody Ross has been a bargain acquisition in the past, but he’s likely headed for a raise as a free agent following a strong offensive showing with the Red Sox, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes. As Speier explains, Ross has been traded for next to nothing in the past.
  • Kerry Wood will work with the Cubs next year, likely as an on-field instructor, Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Wood, who retired in May, said he hopes to have some kind of role in uniform with the Cubs, ideally alongside some of his former teammates.
  • The Rockies will enter the 2013 season with questions related to Todd Helton, Drew Pomeranz, Jim Tracy and others, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. The Rockies want to bring Jeff Francis back when he hits free agency this offseason, according to Saunders.



Kerry Wood To Retire

After 14 MLB seasons, Kerry Wood's playing career is coming to an end. The 34-year-old right-hander plans to announce his retirement, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports. Wood will retire after making one more appearance this weekend, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweets.

Kerry Wood - Cubs (PW)

Wood debuted with the 1998 Cubs and it didn't take long for him to make an impression. He struck out 233 hitters in 166 2/3 innings as a rookie, including a record 20 strikeouts in one game against the Astros. After being named the NL's 1998 Rookie of the Year, Wood missed his sophomore season to undergo Tommy John surgery. He returned to the rotation in 2000 and started effectively for five seasons, but had trouble staying healthy and transitioned to the bullpen, where he pitched exclusively from 2007-12.

Wood signed a one-year, $3MM contract with the Cubs this offseason, but struggled through nine appearances, allowing nearly one earned run per inning with twice as many walks (11) as strikeouts (5). Wood's contract included a $3MM club option for 2013 which will no longer be in play for GM Jed Hoyer.

The two-time All-Star will retire with a 3.67 ERA, and 86-75 record, 1379 2/3 innings pitched and 1581 strikeouts. Wood, the fourth overall selection in the 1995 draft, earned more than $70MM in his career, according to Baseball-Reference. He is a client of SFX.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.



Quick Hits: Wood, Soriano, Yankees, Moreland, O's

Some links as Saturday turns into Sunday...

  • Before re-signing with the Cubs, Kerry Wood agreed to a deal with another club and was preparing for his physical when the Cubs swooped in according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. Levine hears that the Reds were most interested in Wood before he re-signed with Chicago, but it's unclear if they're the team he had the agreement with.
  • As many as eight teams have inquired about Alfonso Soriano, reports Levine. Most of those clubs are American League teams. Levine says Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts reiterated that he'll to eat most of the money owed to Soriano to facilitate a trade.
  • Marc Carig of The Star Ledger wonders if the Michael Pineda trade is a sign of things to come for the Yankees, who could opt to trade for pitching in the future rather than sign free agent arms to long-term deals.
  • "All I can do is worry about getting healthy and being a part of this team next year," said Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland to FOXSportsSouthwest.com's Anthony Andro when asked about the Prince Fielder rumors (Twitter link).
  • “Our minor-league system is in the bottom ten-percent in the industry in terms of signing players at the amateur level and developing them for the big leagues," said Orioles GM Dan Duquette to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com. "That’s what needs to improve over the next couple of years.”
  • The Orioles have signed utility man Peter Fatse away from the independent Newark Bears, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The 24-year-old spent two seasons in the Brewers' farm system before hitting .279/.348/.418 with five homers in 284 plate appearances for Newark last season.



Cubs Agree To Contract With Kerry Wood

The Cubs and veteran reliever Kerry Wood have agreed to a one-year contract that also includes an option for 2013.  The contract will pay Wood $3MM next season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter) with the 2013 option also worth $3MM.  The new deal was announced with a bit of theatricality at the Cubs fan convention, as Wood then stepped onto the stage to a raucous ovation from fans.

Wood's return to Chicago was considered a foregone conclusion but negotiations hit a snag earlier this week, which drew the Phillies and Reds into the Wood market.  Things appeared to clear up by Wednesday, however, when FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi reported the two sides were close on a one-year deal with an option for 2013.

Wood posted a 3.35 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 0.88 HR/9, and 35.8% groundball rate in 51 innings for the Cubs last year.  He missed time with a blister, and also saw his season end about a week early due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.  With Carlos Marmol tying for the MLB lead with 10 blown saves last year and Sean Marshall now with the Reds, Wood will be next in line to close for the Cubs if Marmol falters.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes contributed to this post



Quick Hits: Playoffs, La Russa, Ordonez, Wood

On this date in 2005, the Mets signed Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119MM contract. Beltran enjoyed some tremendous seasons and endured some difficult moments with the Mets, who traded him to San Francisco last summer. Here are today's links...

  • An extra wild card team is far from a sure thing for 2012, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, as "big scheduling obstacles remain" to be worked out before baseball can expand its playoffs for this fall.
  • Tony La Russa has been "informally offered" Joe Torre's old job as MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).  La Russa has given no indication that he is interested in the job. 
  • Magglio Ordonez intends to play in 2012, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The free agent outfielder is making progress in his recovery from right ankle surgery.
  • Kerry Wood said on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 that there's "nothing new" to report on his near-deal with the Cubs.
  • Dan Johnson, the unlikely hero of the Rays’ exhilarating comeback in the final game of the regular season, tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he’s still looking for a job.
  • Dodgers scout Carl Loewnstine continues working as he battles bone cancer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Loewnstine will be honored this weekend at a banquet benefiting the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in California.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and David Laurila of FanGraphs discussed the role of information in the decision making process of an MLB front office.
  • The Red Sox don’t expect to offer guaranteed deals to free agent pitchers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The asking price for Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt is dropping, but those pitchers aren’t likely to sign in Boston, Heyman writes.



NL Central Notes: Madson, Wood, Miller

The Reds signed Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman for $30.25MM on this date in 2010. The 23-year-old has a 3.27 ERA with 12.8 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9 through 63 1/3 innings in parts of two seasons with Cincinnati. He figures to join lefties Bill Bray and Sean Marshall in the Reds' revamped bullpen this year...



Cubs Close To Deal With Kerry Wood

The Cubs are close to a one-year deal with reliever Kerry Wood, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  The contract will include a club option for 2013.  Earlier today, Cubs president Theo Epstein told reporters, "If we can't figure this out, something's wrong."

Wood, 34, was drafted fourth overall in 1995 by the Cubs and stayed in the organization through the 2008 season.  Injuries pushed the hard-throwing Texan to a relief role, and he spent the 2009-10 seasons with the Indians and Yankees.  Wood returned to the Cubs for the 2011 season on a below-market deal with a $1.5MM base salary.  It was suggested he sought a salary closer to market value this time around, and yesterday Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said the team offered Wood a substantial raise.

Wood posted a 3.35 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 0.88 HR/9, and 35.8% groundball rate in 51 innings for the Cubs last year.  He missed time with a blister, and also saw his season end about a week early due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.  With Carlos Marmol tying for the MLB lead with 10 blown saves last year and Sean Marshall now with the Reds, Wood will be next in line to close for the Cubs if Marmol falters.



Reds Interested In Wood; Cordero May Return

Reds GM Walt Jocketty says he’s hopeful to have resolved things with Francisco Cordero "one way or another" this week and that the free agent closer is up against a "soft deadline," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. If Cordero doesn’t re-sign with Cincinnati, the Reds could turn to Kerry Wood, depending on his asking price. The club would probably not sign both Cordero and Wood, according to Jocketty.

The Cubs maintain interest in re-signing Wood, who pitched for $1.5MM last year. They’ve offered the 34-year-old a substantial raise, GM Jed Hoyer said today. Wood posted a 3.35 ERA with 10.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 35.8% ground ball rate in 51 innings for the Cubs in 2011 and has also drawn interest from the Phillies.

The Reds have maintained interest in re-signing Cordero throughout the offseason. The 36-year-old posted a 2.45 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 50% ground ball rate in 69 2/3 innings for Cincinnati this past season and has drawn interest from other clubs, including the Angels.



Latest On Kerry Wood

10:38am: The Cubs offered Wood a "substantial" raise, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters today.  Wood had a below-market base salary of $1.5MM in 2011.

9:34am: Kerry Wood's "days as a Cub appear all but over," writes Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com after talking to a source with knowledge of the reliever's negotiations with the team.  Kaplan quotes his source:

"Woody wanted to be here despite the rebuilding process but while the Cubs were saying they wanted him back they were unwilling to pay him the market value for a solid set up man.  He has heard from a number of teams that are World Series contenders and they are all willing to pay him a very fair salary to strengthen their bullpen. The Cubs expected him to pitch for another hometown discount. He has already done that for them a couple of times before. There is no reason that he should have to do that again."

Wood told Kaplan last night on WGN Sports Radio that his family plans on staying in the Chicago area for a long time whether or not he finishes his career with the Cubs.  Last week Cubs president Theo Epstein said he was "actively involved in negotations" to bring Wood back, noting, "I think this one should work out."  If Epstein and Wood fail to find common ground, Kaplan says the Tigers, Phillies, Reds, Angels, and others are interested.



Phillies Interested In Kerry Wood

11:04pm: The Cubs and Wood can't agree on the money or the length of a contract, writes Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.  Wood seeks around $4MM, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.  The big righty told NBC-5 Chicago he'll make a decision by Friday, which also marks the start of the Cubs Convention. 

6:08pm: The Cubs and Phillies have expressed the strongest interest in signing Wood, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

1:50pm: Late last week Kerry Wood appeared to be working toward a one-year deal to return to the Cubs, but we soon heard that it was far from done and that Wood is still in talks with several teams about a 2012 contract. The Phillies could be one of those teams based on these two tweets from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, who reports that Philadelphia has Wood on their radar but their interest could be contingent on the health of Jose Contreras.

The 40-year-old Contreras had season-ending elbow surgery in August after appearing in just 17 games (14 innings of work) for the Phils last season. He compiled a 3.86 ERA and 8.4 K/9 but struggled with his control, walking eight and hitting a batter in those 14 innings. Wood, on the other hand, whiffed 10.1 per nine over 51 innings of 3.35 ERA ball with the Cubs, with a more reasonable 3.7 BB/9.

The Phillies lost Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge both to free agency this winter. They pounced early to replace Madson by signing Jonathan Papelbon. Wood would represent an affordable option to set-up for Papelbon. As Crasnick notes in a final tweet, the allure of playing for a contender may have more appeal than the Cubs' rebuilding philosophy under the new front office headed by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.









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