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.