Chicago Cubs: 3 cost-effective free agent relievers with huge upside

(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /
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Hunter Wood / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: 3 low-cost free agent relievers to consider: #2 – Hunter Wood

Hunter Wood makes this list because of his very interesting upside. First off, let’s discuss his cost-effective nature. He elected free agency after last season ended after pitching just five innings at the big league level in 2021 before requiring elbow surgery at the end of June. There is a chance he won’t be quite ready for spring training but the thought is if he has to miss any time, it won’t be much.

Coming off a surgery is always rough. Given that fact, his contract more than likely will not be expensive at all and, if he can bounce back quickly, there’s a lot of upside here. The risk is pretty low given how affordable he’s likely to be on even a prove-it deal and his numbers show there’s promise there when healthy.

Over 91 2/3 innings at the major league level, Wood has recorded a respectable 3.34 ERA and 4.04 FIP. He currently has an 8.4 career K/9 which isn’t bad but his biggest red flags sit in his WHIP. In his career, he’s allowed just under nine hits per nine – but has largely avoided major trouble. Regardless, if he can cut down on the baserunners, there might be more here.