Chicago Cubs: Travis Wood traded from Royals to Padres

Travis Wood / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Travis Wood / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

 A key member of the  Chicago Cubs’ bullpen from last year is on the move once again. The Royals and Padres struck a trade on Monday afternoon, with six players involved overall.

Travis Wood was a member of the Chicago Cubs‘ roster for five years, from 2012, all the way through 2016. Wood lived through the dark days of the Cubs rebuild, from the 100 loss, all the way through the 103, World Series winning season last year. Unfortunately, the Cubs and Woody were unable to get an extension done before his free agency hit.

During his time with the Cubs, Wood posted a 3.94 ERA, pitching in 220 games, with 98 starts, a 4.21 FIP. He pitched 691 1/3 innings, striking out 574 hitters, walking 259, also giving up 82 bombs. Not a horrendous stat line, but Woody really made a living as a reliever his final two years. Oh, did we mention he hit a postseason home run in last year’s division series against the Giants? That will be an iconic moment in Cubs lore.

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Go West, young man

In free agency, Wood signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Kansas City Royals. His time in KC was…less than pleasant. In 28 games, with three starts, Wood pitched to a 6.91 ERA, but with a 4.52 FIP. In 41 2/3 innings, he struck out 29, whilst walking 20 and gave up four home runs. He is on the move again, along with Matt Strahm and Esteury Ruiz, in exchange for Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and another former Cubs great, Trevor Cahill.

The Royals will send $7.2 million to the Padres to cover the cost of Wood’s salary. It should be interesting seeing Wood where he is comfortable again, the National League. The NL is also less of the hitter’s league that the AL is. Petco Park also has a reputation of playing more to pitchers than it does to hitters.

One story line to follow will be whether the Padres let Wood start, or use him out of the bullpen, where he has proven to be more effective. Either as a swing man between the bullpen or rotation or as a lefty specialist, like he was for a lot of 2016 with the Cubs.

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One thing can be said, though, and that is that the Royals are going for it. You know what? Good for them. That current core already has one World Series championship and two pennants. With everybody in their walk year, why not try to give them, and the fans, one last hoorah? That team is so much fun to watch when clicking on all cylinders, and they have been on all cylinders since the beginning of June. Time will tell if this trade pays off, but for now, just enjoy this Royals team as they are.