Midseason Trade Candidates Rumors
Indians closer Kerry Wood is one of the most obvious midseason trade candidates. A $10.5MM stopper is unnecessary on a rebuilding club, and Wood could draw interest with a strong first half.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer addresses Wood's situation. He says a few teams inquired this winter, "but they wanted the Indians to absorb the lion's share of his 2010 salary." Wood, 32, was prone to home runs and walks in his 55 innings in '09. This year the Indians plan to pitch him more often to avoid rust.
That plan could actually hurt Wood's trade value, as it may make his $11MM option for 2011 more likely to vest. The 2011 salary becomes guaranteed with 55 games finished (the Angels' Brian Fuentes has a similar option). A pitcher gains a game finished by being the last reliever to pitch in a game (win or lose), so it's easier to come by than a save. Of course, a team trading for Wood may choose to use him in a set-up role.