After the 2008 season, the Chicago Cubs decided to part ways with Starter turned Closer and longtime fan favorite Kerry Wood. While Wood was lobbying to come back and play for the Chicago Cubs in 2009, the Cubs decided not to bring him back. However it was not because they felt that they didn’t want Wood, they just wanted to give the chance to Wood to be able to get the contract he was worth. Which he did, signing a three year deal worth up to $30MM with the Cleveland Indians. Wood was traded to the Yankees at the trade deadline this year, and is set to hit free agency this off-season.
ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine mentioned a few weeks ago in his weekly chat on ESPN.com that idea of bringing back Wood is an idea the the Chicago Cubs might have this winter. While Wood has split time with the Indians and Yankees this year, he has consummated an ERA of 3.05 while striking out 46 batters.
Going into the off-season the Chicago Cubs are going to need to revamp their bullpen, as for the most part it has been filled with young and inexperienced pitchers that have failed to get the job done. Also considering that Wood has been around the Chicago media and has been in the same position that some of the Cubs young pitchers like Andrew Cashner have been in, he would be a good personality to add to the team. Also when he left the Cubs after the 2008 season, he was considered a team leader and was respected among all of his teammates.
Also there is no gurrantee that Carlos Marmol will be back with the Chicago Cubs next year, so the Cubs would be able to slide Wood into the closer’s spot in preparation for the eventual transition to Andrew Cashner, if he stays in the bullpen.
Given that Wood has in sorts revitalized his career with the Yankees during the second half this season, he could be in line to earn a multi-year contract worth about $10MM-$14MM.