Kerry Wood Rumors
ESPN's Jayson Stark posted a new column yesterday; let's take a look.
- Stark speculates on four players the Cubs could attempt to trade Carlos Zambrano for: Carlos Lee, A.J. Burnett, Barry Zito, and Derek Lowe. I posted 11 Zambrano trade scenarios yesterday; check it out. A few baseball insiders Stark spoke to did think that with the right veteran team or manager Zambrano could be useful.
- Cubs players Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson were claimed on waivers and pulled back, reports Stark. Carlos Pena has yet to be placed on waivers, but the Cubs may not be motivated to move him.
- One baseball man who is close to Bud Selig told Stark the commissioner has "basically promised a lot of people he'll get them slotting by next year."
- The Red Sox are poking around for a right-handed bench bat, while the Yankees and Phillies seek veteran left-handed relievers.
In late June, Wood said that it would take a "great" offer for himself and the Cubs organization for him to sign off on a trade. Several teams would like to acquire Wood and his affordable $1.5MM salary, including the Diamondbacks. The 34-year-old would likely find himself with a number of attractive options but it seems as though he'd prefer to stay put given his ties to the Chicago area.
In 33 appearances for the Cubs this season, Wood has a 3.45 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9.
The Diamondbacks will add at least one reliever and could add a starter, too, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Giants, who lead Arizona by 3.5 games in the NL West, acquired Jeff Keppinger tonight and D'Backs GM Kevin Towers is expected to respond before long.
The D'Backs "would love" to acquire Kerry Wood, who can block any trade the Cubs propose. Arizona also has interest in Todd Coffey, Jason Isringhausen and Jason Frasor. John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR reported last week that the D'Backs would consider Isringhausen, Wood and possibly Frasor.
Though the D'Backs are looking for starting pitching, Ubaldo Jimenez, Hiroki Kuroda and Aaron Harang are unlikely to be traded within the NL West. For more on what the D'Backs, Giants and other contenders are looking for, check out Tim Dierkes' analysis from earlier today.
The Diamondbacks are known to be looking for a veteran reliever and to that end will consider Jason Isringhausen and Kerry Wood as trade options, tweets John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix. The Mets are known to be shopping Isringhausen, who has had a successful comeback season in New York and now looks to get a share of the closing duties now that Francisco Rodriguez has been dealt to Milwaukee.
Wood could be a tougher get for the Snakes. Wood has a no-trade clause and given both his personal and professional ties in Chicago, the right-hander has stated that it's unlikely that he would choose to leave the Cubs. Wood has never played for a World Series winner, however, it's possible the D'Backs or another contender could convince Wood to take one last shot at a championship.
Gambadoro also notes that the D'Backs have "had some discussions" with the Blue Jays about acquiring a pitcher, presumably a reliever. Toronto has several veterans in the bullpen but, as MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm notes, many of these arms (Shawn Camp, Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch) project as Type-B free agents this winter. The Jays would want a return worth at least as much as the compensation draft pick they'd receive from any of those pitchers if they were trade them at the deadline. Octavio Dotel also projects as a Type-B free agent but since Chisholm predicts he'd accept an offer of arbitration from the Jays, "Dotel is the likeliest Blue Jays reliever to be on the move before the end of the month."
Let's check out some items on the Chicago teams, who are both in action tonight..
- Cubs GM Jim Hendry says that he's gotten phone calls from teams inquiring about players that he's not interested in moving, and the teams know that before they call, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
- At some point, the Cubs will let Kerry Wood know which contenders have serious interest in him and let him make the choice of if he's traded, and where to according to Buster Olney of ESPN (via Twitter).
- Meanwhile, the club is telling teams that they have no interest in talking about Sean Marshall in any potential trade, Olney tweets.
- The White Sox might make a trade with the Braves in the weeks leading up to the deadline, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Though it's possible that nothing is imminent, GM Ken Williams' special assistants Dave Yoakum and Bill Scherrer have been watching Atlanta over the past two or three series.
- Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com wonders if Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and John Grabow could be of interest to the Yankees. Although the Yankees already have a solid base in their everyday lineup, Levine writes that Ramirez or Soriano could add some punch as a designated hitter.
Kerry Wood turned down more substantial offers to return to the Cubs last offseason and, ironically enough, his affordable $1.5MM salary has rival teams wondering if they can lure Wood away. Trade interest in the reliever is picking up just as Wood and his wife, Sarah, are starting a family foundation in Chicago. So Wood told Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald that he would have to be presented with a ‘great’ deal for both himself and the Cubs to waive his no-trade clause and leave Chicago.
“We’re committed here,” Wood said. “We’ve got an event in September. So I’ll just leave it at that. I don’t see it. I don’t see it happening.”
Wood says he and his wife have discussed the possibility of a trade and determined that they won’t accept any proposals that are less than ideal. Wood, who will be activated from the disabled list tomorrow, has a 2.25 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 24 innings for the 33-48 Cubs.
The trade market is still developing at this point in the season, but it’s starting to take shape. Buster Olney outlines the plans for National League teams in a highly recommended insider-only piece at ESPN.com. Here are the details:
- The Dodgers can’t make long-term investments in young stars like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw because of their uncertain financial status. The Los Angeles front office is now gathering information about some of their trade candidates and taking calls on some players. No teams have called on Jamey Carroll yet, though the Rockies are interested.
- James Loney and Casey Blake have next to no trade value, as Olney explains.
- No team has called about Jose Reyes, who won’t be traded for anything less than a top prospect and a solid secondary prospect.
- Rival executives expect the Phillies to acquire proven veterans this summer.
- Though the Astros will listen to offers on Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez, they will be asking a lot for them.
- The Braves are checking out available hitters. Some rival executives have speculated on the possibility that the Braves will consider trading Jair Jurrjens, whose stock has never been higher.
- Some rival executives think B.J. Upton will be a borderline non-tender candidate this offseason. Upton will earn a raise from $4.825MM next year and he currently has a .223/.308/.396 line with 20 steals. I can’t envision the Rays non-tendering Upton, who would presumably have trade value if Tampa made him available.
- The Padres have told teams that they’re ready to take offers for Heath Bell and Mike Adams. Rival clubs believe Adams will be harder to obtain than Ryan Ludwick.
- The Rockies will wait a few weeks before deciding whether to buy or sell.
- The Giants are looking for catching help and Ramon Hernandez is a possible upgrade, as I explained earlier in the week.
- The Reds are concerned about starting pitching and will consider making moves for upgrades at left field or shortstop. Though rival teams don’t expect Reyes to end up in Cincinnati, GM Walt Jocketty may be aggressive enough to make a deal happen.
- GM Jim Hendry says there won’t be a fire sale, but the Cubs are “open for business,” Olney reports. Jeff Baker and Kerry Wood are “among the most coveted players in the trade market,” since they’re cheap and useful. Rival executives have mixed opinions about Carlos Pena, who is powerful but streaky.
- Wood is near the top of Arizona’s list of targets.
- The 40-39 Pirates will look for modest ways to improve and won’t be selling.
Teams like the Yankees, Rangers and Cardinals may not have to wait much longer for bullpen help. There will probably be relievers available immediately, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Here’s the latest on the relief market and other notes from Olney:
- The industry-wide expectation is that the Padres will trade Heath Bell soon.
- Executives wonder if the Padres will decide to take advantage of Mike Adams' substantial trade value and trade him now. The setup man is under team control through 2012.
- Rival teams will presumably call the Cubs to see if Kerry Wood would accept a trade. The right-hander signed a discounted $1.5MM contract last offseason because he wanted to return to Chicago.
- Grant Balfour, Luke Gregerson and Michael Wuertz are other possible trade candidates, according to Olney.
- Though the Pirates have developed more top talent under Neal Huntington, it’s an important year for the GM, who doesn’t have a contract after 2011. The Pirates drafted aggressively once again this year, so Huntington and his scouting staff will have a number of tough signs this summer, such as high schooler Josh Bell.
Let's check out the latest edition of Full Count from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal..
- Cubs reliever Kerry Wood is likely to be in high demand at the deadline, in part because his salary this year is just $1.5MM. The Cubs gave him a full no-trade clause and Wood told Rosenthal that he hasn't thought about what he would do if the team asked him to waive it. After all, Wood came back to Chicago to be with his family and to lay the groundwork for a job with the organization after his career is through.
- The White Sox expect teams to inquire about their surplus of starting pitching, with Edwin Jackson as their most obvious trade candidate as he is a potential free agent. However, GM Ken Williams wouldn't necessarily seek offense in return. Instead, they'd prefer a right-handed reliever or even prospects. If the White Sox were to add a bat, they wouldn't know where to put it in the lineup.
- The Rays have been sliding as of late but are still in contention in the AL East so we can expect them to be buyers. With offense as their biggest need, it wouldn't be surprising to see them inquire on Jose Reyes, but they likely won't land him. Tampa Bay would have to part with top-notch prospects to pull off such a deal, and prospects are more valuable for the Rays than they are for most teams.
- The Dodgers were hoping to bounce back in the NL West once they got healthy, but a second rash of injuries has left them depleted again. If the Dodgers ever do get healthy, Rosenthal expects them to go after a power bat to put in left field or at third base.
- Tom Gorzelanny could be the odd man out of the Cubs' crowded rotation, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. Chicago has already been shopping the left-hander this winter, and the Mets and Tigers were both reportedly interested.
- Before Kerry Wood signed with the Cubs, he was promised a post-retirement job with the team by chairman Tom Ricketts, Levine writes. No specific job was mentioned, though Levine cites a radio report that said Wood had been offered a broadcasting position.
- Walt Jocketty tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds "haven’t made a lot of progress" with their four remaining arbitration-eligible players. One of those four arb-eligible Reds is Joey Votto, so it's possible his longer-term negotiations are taking up Jocketty's time.
- The Brewers have signed Eulogio de la Cruz, reports Matthew Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). De La Cruz, 26, spent last season pitching in Japan. The right-hander has an 11.84 ERA and a 9.9 BB/9 rate in 15 career Major League games with the Padres, Marlins and Tigers since 2007, though his career minor league numbers (3.73 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 rate) are more respectable.