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Kerry Wood expected to sign by Friday; Cubs no sure thing

Jan 9, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

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Kerry Wood told NBC-5 in Chicago that he expects to sign by Friday, with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reporting that the Phillies, Tigers, Angels, and Reds are among the teams competing with the Cubs for the 34-year-old reliever.

Wood took significantly less money to sign with the Cubs last offseason and said just a couple months ago that he might opt for retirement rather than pitch for another team, but apparently something changed along with the new front office regime taking over and now he’s looking to get fair market value.

Last winter Wood accepted a one-year, $1.5 million deal from the Cubs when he was being offered multi-year deals for higher annual salaries elsewhere, including from the crosstown White Sox. This time around Salisbury reports that Wood is looking for a one-year deal worth around $4 million, which is reasonable money and may still be too much for the Phillies unless general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. can get ownership to sign off on a payroll bump to add the setup man.

Wood pitched very well for the Cubs last season, throwing 51 innings with a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio, so he’s certainly right to think he’s worth similar money to other veteran setup men who got one-year deals this offseason like Octavio Dotel ($3.5 million), Jon Rauch ($3.5 million), and LaTroy Hawkins ($3 million).

  1. cur68 - Jan 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Every time I see Kerry Wood I am struck by his asymmetry. His scrawny lil left arm next to his telephone pole right arm reminds me of the time I broke my left leg at the knee: by the time I was back to walking around normally, my left leg looked like it belonged on someone half my size. Wood should do something about that size disparity: the knee jerk reaction (ha! my right knee, of course) to someone in that state is that there’s something subtly wrong with him health-wise. Creates a bad first impression.

    • Old Gator - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      What do you want to bet he comes back as a fiddler crab in his next lifetime?

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Talk about a change of heart. You know what’s going on in Cubs land now, Kerry; you deserve market value, but you can’t expect the team to change route just for you. Hendry’s not there anymore.

    That said, I hope he comes back. It was too bizarre and a little sad to see him in a Cleveland or Yankee uniform.

  3. Old Gator - Jan 9, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    There’s Baltimore.

    There’s always Baltimore.

  4. dcfan4life - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    This late in your career take the money. The Cubs are rebuilding, AGAIN, so winning there is not around the corner. Plus they want to underpay you. I know being loyal is a rare trait in any sport and i applaud that, but still, its the Cubs, and that being said take the money and sign with someone who pays you and could contend. And its not like he has been a Cub his whole career ala Jorge Pasada who just retired knowing his days in NY were done.

  5. pisano - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    He has no one to blame but himself. He was offered multi year deals after the super year he had with the Yankees, but he declined. The old saying of a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush will ring true for Kerry.

  6. foreverchipper10 - Jan 9, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    He is only 34? I feel like he has been around FOREVER. How can he be only 6 years older than me? That makes my brain hurt.

  7. muckthefets23 - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    I hope he comes to Philly on a one year deal to set up papelbon, I can’t see him being any more injury prone than the “big truck”

  8. paulydefense - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    wouldn’t be surprised if he goes to Cincinnati to be the closer.

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