Free agent left-hander Travis Wood worked almost exclusively out of the Cubs’ bullpen over the previous two seasons, but he could return to the rotation with a new club in 2017. “Multiple teams” are offering Wood a chance to start, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). Wood, who will turn 30 on Monday, combined for 133 starts with the Reds and Cubs from 2010-15 and registered a 4.19 ERA, 7.11 K/9 and 3.15 BB/9 in that 776-inning span. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Friday that Wood could sign sometime this weekend.
More pitching-related notes:
- Right-hander Chase Anderson and his representatives don’t expect to avoid arbitration with the Brewers, who are employing a file-and-trial approach, a source told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The two sides are set to argue their cases sometime before Feb. 14, which would be the Brewers’ first arbitration hearing since 2012. Anderson, who’s arbitration eligible for the first time, is seeking $2.85MM as his 2017 salary, while the Brewers have offered $2.45MM (MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected a $3.1MM award entering the offseason). The 29-year-old is coming off a season in which he amassed 151 2/3 innings, totaled nine wins and recorded a 4.39 ERA – the three statistics arbitrators examine when dealing with starting pitchers.
- The Braves are loaded with bullpen options going into the spring, opines MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, who expects there to be plenty of “buzz” centering on left-handed prospect A.J. Minter. A second-round pick in 2015 (a few months after he underwent Tommy John surgery), the hard-throwing Minter received his first professional action last season and laid waste to hitters at both the Single-A and Double-A levels.
- David Laurila of FanGraphs had a lengthy, pitching-focused chat with Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias. The two discussed the value of in-person scouting, the Astros’ curveball usage and the risk associated with drafting high school pitchers, among other subjects. On 6-foot-7 righty Forrest Whitley, whom the Astros selected 17th overall out of high school in last year’s draft, Elias observed: “When you see a kid that long and lean be as coordinated, and able to repeat his delivery as well as he was, at the age of 18… that’s a big reason we took him with our first pick. We were really impressed with how he coordinates himself when he’s going down the mound. And he goes down the mound pretty aggressively.”