"The Chicago Cubs lost another arm to the Kansas City Royals in Travis Wood, who contributed all over the field in 2016"
It’s the end of an era for the Chicago Cubs.
According to Jon Heyman, former Cub lefty Travis Wood has signed a two year, $12-million deal with the Kansas City Royals. This is now the second free agent Cub pitcher to sign with the Royals this offseason. Jason Hammel just agreed to terms earlier this week on a two-year deal as well.
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Without digging into specifics, I think its safe to say the Cubs were the winners of that trade. Originally a starter for the Cubs, Wood was 32-42 with a 3.94 ERA in 220 appearances and 98 starts for the Cubs.
Wood has also had better success as a reliever than as a starter. After anAll-Star campaign in 2013, when he went 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA, he struggled in 2014 before being moved to the bullpen.
He sports a career 2.83 ERA out of the bullpen with 9.1 K/9. As a starter though, he sports a 4.19 ERA with 7.1 K/9.
In 2016, the lefty was 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 77 appearances during the regular season. While his postseason numbers weren’t as spectacular, he still was a big part of the Cubs’ championship run.
Wood’s inherent value to teams
What makes Wood even more valuable (but won’t necessarily help the Royals) is that Wood swings a pretty solid bat.
He has nine career home runs and that’s not including the solo homer he hit as a reliever in the 2016 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. He can also play a little left field, as he did for the Cubs this year as well.
While there was some discussion among fans about whether the Cubs should re-sign him or not, he is a valuable asset.
Wood will likely get an opportunity to start in Kansas City, which he wouldn’t get here in Chicago. He also became expendable when the Cubs decided to sign Brett Anderson and a slew of other young pitchers. The team’s prior lack of lefties was the reason why he was still in the picture for the Cubs for so long.
He will definitely be missed as he was one of the guys that fans liked. He is a great team player who will always do what you ask. Kansas City will definitely like having him around.