Wood, 30, signed a two-year, $12MM contract with the Royals last winter but struggled enormously both in Kansas City and in San Diego this past season. The former Cubs lefty posted an ERA north of 6.70 with both teams last year, working to an overall 6.80 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and a 1.8 HR/9 mark in 94 innings. He’s still owed $6.5MM in 2018, but the Royals agreed to pay the entirety of that sum when he was traded to San Diego, so Wood will represent a pure lottery ticket for any club that signs him this offseason.
As unsightly as his 2017 results were, Wood had success with the Cubs from 2015-16, totaling 161 2/3 innings with a 3.51 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 between nine starts and 122 relief appearances. Overall, he posted a 3.94 ERA in nearly 700 innings in parts of five seasons in Chicago. Given his experience both in a big league rotation and bullpen, Wood figures to draw interest from clubs looking for depth options in either capacity.
A low-payroll club like the Marlins, who had interest in Wood as a free agent last offseason, could make sense as a speculative landing spot given their overall need for affordable pitching depth. NL clubs may also be drawn to the fact that Wood has some ability at the plate (relative to his pitching peers, anyhow). In 195 plate appearances over the past five seasons, Wood has connected on eight homers and batted .202/.241/.354.