Just got word from a solid source, an insider who had previously indicated the Devil Rays’ interest in Ervin Santana back in December. This time, he’s got some info concerning oft-injured Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood.
Word is that despite Wood’s awful health record, Jim Hendry is shopping him and has received some interest. The Rangers would like to add Wood and may give up John Danks or Thomas Diamond to get him.
Danks, a 21 year-old southpaw, has made some progress in his second stint in Double A. His strikeout rate is way up and his control has improved, though his home run prevention has worsened. Danks is mentioned as a potential #2 starter one day by Baseball America, and should earn a promotion to Triple A this year if he can further improve upon his 4.41 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.
Diamond is a 23 year-old righty with a mid-90s fastball and a good changeup. He’s also done better in his second stint at Double A Frisco, managing a 4.15 ERA despite his 1.48 WHIP. Diamond has whiffed over 11 batters per nine innings, but his walks per nine has soared past 6. Diamond and Danks are ranked #2-3 in strikeouts in the Texas League, behind only Juan Gutierrez in the Astros’ system.
Wood would have to approve a trade to any club, and the Rangers seem more likely than another possible suitor: the Yankees. I’m told the Yanks are poking around as well, but don’t have details on any offers. Given that Wood’s $13.5MM option will most certainly be bought out for 2007, a trade to Texas would be contingent on a restructured agreement for 2007 with Wood.
Wood is no lock to be traded, and could turn into an effective, healthy pitcher if used in the bullpen. The Cubs are certainly open to the idea of retaining Wood for 2007 at a discounted price.