The Padres are still working to add another arm to their rotation mix, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Lefty Travis Wood has joined righty Jered Weaver among the arms under consideration, per the report.
San Diego has steadily rebuilt its rotation on the cheap this winter, signing Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, and Trevor Cahill to budget-friendly, one-year deals. Evidently, the club remains interested in bolstering its depth with a fourth signing.
In all likelihood, says Rosenthal, the club would add just one of those two pitchers. Another previously rumored potential match, former Friars star Jake Peavy, could still be a fit but appears to be less likely at this juncture.
While we’ve heard plenty about the interest in Weaver over recent months, Wood is a new addition to the Padres’ picture. Recent reports suggest that multiple organizations are pursuing him as a starter, and he ought to hold appeal to others as a reliever, so it stands to reason that he’ll command a fair bit more money than the other arms San Diego has gathered thus far.
Wood, who just turned 30, has succeeded most recently as a reliever, posting 61 innings of 2.95 ERA ball last year for the Cubs. That said, metrics felt he was somewhat fortunate to generate those results. He failed to follow up on a jump in his strikeout rate that came with his move to the bullpen in 2015, falling from 10.5 K/9 that year to 6.9 K/9 in 2016, and posted unremarkable walk (3.5 BB/9) and groundball (37.4%) rates while benefiting from a .215 batting average on balls put in play against him.
Still, the Padres are among the teams that obviously feel Wood can not only contribute as a reliever, but return to being a useful starter. He has ample experience working from the rotation, having carried a 4.19 ERA over 776 frames between 2010 and 2015. As MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently noted in discussing the Yankees’ interest in the veteran lefty, Wood has long made his flyball-heavy approach work by generating a healthy number of harmless infield flies. In 2016, he racked up those easy outs on 17.8% of batted balls, one of the highest rates in the majors.