Kerry Wood, out for the rest of 2011 with a torn meniscus in his left knee, told Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago that he will retire if the Cubs aren't interested in bringing him back in 2012. Wood, who intends to undergo surgery next week before beginning a six-week long recovery process, turned down more lucrative offers to return to Chicago on a one-year, $1.5MM contract last offseason.
The Cubs selected Wood in the first round of the 1995 draft and he has since developed strong ties in Chicago, where his family started the Wood Family Foundation this summer. In 51 innings of work, he posted a 3.35 ERA with 10.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 35.8% ground ball rate this year. The two-time All-Star is still just 34, so he figures to have more innings in him if his health holds up.
Since the Cubs have yet to appoint a permanent GM, there's no guarantee that the team would like to have Wood back, but it's hard to imagine that there wouldn't be some mutual interest.