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Tag:Kerry Wood
Posted on: December 16, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 11:50 pm
 

Wood returns to Cubs at cut rate

Kerry Wood
Sentiment has apparently scored another victory over money, as Kerry Wood will return to his original team and apparently leave a lot of money on the table in the process.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Wood has agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal to go back to the Cubs, his team from 1998-2008. Assuming there aren't some big incentives built in, that's a huge discount that according to the report "surprised even the Cubs." Wood turned down a reported one-year, $3.5 million deal on the other side of Chicago and had multi-year offers from the Yankees and Red Sox.

Wood, who was Rookie of the Year (shortly after posing for this picture) and made the All-Star team as both a starter and closer for the Cubs, split last season between the Indians and Yankees. After an early-season back injury, the reliever had a rough go in Cleveland, posting a 6.30 ERA. After the trade, however, he was a new man -- 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 24 appearances. He'll probably be a setup man on the North Side.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 10:28 am
 

Wood eyeing return to Cubs?

Kerry Wood Kerry Wood could return to the Cubs, he tells the Chicago Tribune .

"There has been a lot of interest, but at this stage of my career it has to be the right fit for my family," the free-agent reliever told the newspaper on Friday. "We are raising our kids and making our permanent home in Chicago, so we'll see what happens."

When asked directly about the Cubs, Wood said, "Nothing is impossible. We'll see how things play out."

He wasn't so open about going to the White Sox. When asked if he'd consider a move to the Southside, he smiled and said he's talked about that before. Wood, apparently, has said several times that he couldn't see himself wearing a White Sox uniform.

The Yankees and White Sox have been linked to Wood, who finished last season with the Yankees as Mariano Rivera's setup man. He had a 0.69 in 24 appearances with the Yankees. Wood had a 6.30 ERA with the Indians before being traded. In 20 innings with the Indians, Wood struck out 18 batters and walked 11. However, after the trade, he had 31 strikeouts and 18 walks in 26 innings. He also allowed fewer hits (14 to 21) and home runs (1 to 3) with the Yankees.

Wood made $10.5 million last season, a number he won't likely receive as a setup man on a new team. Wood spend the first 11 years of his career with the Cubs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:46 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 2:20 pm
 

Konerko wants $15 million, ChiSox won't pay it

Konerko The White Sox and Paul Konerko are working hard to have the slugger return to town, but so far there is a divide on annual salary between the two camps.

Konerko, coming off a career year where he bombed 39 home runs, wants $15 million annually, a price the White Sox are unwilling to pay as it would compromise their pursuit for bullpen help as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times lays out.

The White Sox are attempting to sign Konerko to a pact worth $12 to $13 million annually. The 34-year-old made $12 million in 2010, so his camp is understandably not considering a price lower than $12 million and feel he deserves more than that.

Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski both backloaded their contracts in an attempt to get Konerko back to the South Side, but the budget constraints are so stark that nothing has been resolved yet.

Speaking of the bullpen, the ChiSox are bidding against the Yankees for Kerry Wood's services as FOX Sports' Ken Rosethal reveals. Wood would set up in New York and likely Chicago as well, but may be attracted to the White Sox due to the city where he made his mark with the Cubs and a chance at winning the closer's role.

UPDATE : Another team (Diamondbacks?) has made a multi-year offer to Paul Konerko, so this storyline is far from over. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says that it's unlikely Konerko agrees to a deal with any team Tuesday.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 28, 2010 2:28 pm
 

Could Kerry Wood return to Cubs?

Wood Could Kerry Wood be headed back to the Cubs?

ESPN Chicago 's Bruce Levine says Wood would be welcomed back to the organization if GM Jim Hendry was able to allocate the resources to make it happen.

Before attention is diverted to a setup man, however, the club has to find a left-handed RBI bat and starting pitcher.

Adam Dunn is considered a fair accompli to be that RBI bat and should sign on to play first base for Chicago. Dunn will require a deal around $10-12 million, which would push the Cubs' 2011 salary obligations to $112-$114 million before even factoring in arbitration for players such as Carlos Marmol, Jeff Baker, Tom Gorzelanny and Geovany Soto. After these raises, payroll should clear $$120 million.

Given the Cubs shelled out $144 million in 2010, there is still enough money to bring in a solid starter (Jorge De La Rosa?) and have enough left over for Kerry Wood.

However, Wood's play in New York is likely to give him every chance to land somewhere as a closer next season. Should his efforts in that vein prove fruitless, then the Cubs and Yankees among other teams would certainly be hot to trot for his services.

  -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Kerry Wood
 
Posted on: October 27, 2010 3:55 pm
 

Yankees set Wood, Berkman, Johnson free

The Yankees have set three players free by declining their options in Lance Berkman, Nick Johnson and Kerry Wood but have opted to pick up the option of Andrew Brackman as the New Jersey Star-Ledger 's Marc Carig notes on Twitter.

Wood Declining the three options is no surprise. While Wood (pictured) dazzled after coming over from the Indians and posting a 0.69 ERA, the 33-year-old had an $11 million option that certainly had no shot of being picked up. While Wood could yet return to town as a setup man, he could make more money elsewhere by being a closer and his play in New York virtually assures him of landing somewhere where he can close.

Berkman, meanwhile, was strictly a rental as a right-handed platoon DH (a role likely going to Jorge Posada next season). Even if Berkman moves back to the NL, he won't sniff the $15 million he would have made in 2011 otherwise.

Lastly, Nick Johnson opened the year as the Yankees' DH and while he walked like nobody's business to the tune of a .167/.388/.306 line in 98 plate appearances, he also predictably got hurt and was knocked out for the year. No need for the $5.5 million option to be picked up, and Johnson is doubtful to return to town.

As for Brackman, you would be forgiven for not ever hearing the name before. Brackman was drafted with the 30th pick of the first round in 2007 and signed a major-league contract. Injuries held him back to making his professional debut in 2009 after signing a big-league deal of four years, but has since started climbing up the ladder as a starter and reached Double-A in 2010. Brackman's club options extend through 2013 and while terms aren't known, clearly were not prohibitive enough to prevent the 2011 option from being picked up.

 -- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 2:29 pm
 

Indians receive two for Kerry Wood deal

At the trade deadline, all the Indians wanted to do was be free of Kerry Wood's onerous $10 million salary as the club was going nowhere.

The Yankees took advantage, forcing the Indians to pay the bulk of the remaining salary in order to take Wood off Cleveland's hands in exchange for paying a small sum as well as agreeing to send players to be named later to complete the trade.

Wood blossomed as a setup man for the Yankees, posting a 0.69 ERA in 26 innings, whiffing 31 and walking 18. While his control is a concern, his production was a far sight better than it was in Cleveland, when he pitched 20 innings of a 6.30 ERA, punching out 18 and handing out 11 free passes. Wood has continued his strong play in the postseason, and should get a solid deal to be some team's setup man or closer next season.

And all the Indians got out of it was a little bit of cash relief and two players to be named later. While some PTBNLs can be of high quality (see Arizona's eventual acquisition of Tyler Skaggs in the Dan Haren deal), the Indians settled for a couple of journeyman players as the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.

Andrew Shive Andrew Shive (right) is a 24-year-old about to turn 25 that has yet to rise above mid-Class A. He got his professional career off to a strong start after being drafted in 2008 by posting a 1.22 ERA for low-Class A, pitching 46 innings and striking out 50 while walking 17. Alas, he missed all of 2009 with arm surgery and his 2010 return was far from impressive.  He finished with a 4.56 ERA in 23 2/3 innings, walking 20 and whiffing just 14. At 25 and yet to see advanced-Class A, Shive is a long shot to make the bigs. That said, if he can reclaim the talent that got him drafted, he could rocket up the ranks quickly. The Indians are definitely gambling on Shive here.

Matt Cusick The second player, Matt Cusick (left), is less of a gamble but closer to the majors. Acquired from the Astros in 2008 for reliever LaTroy Hawkins, whatever value Cusick once had quickly evaporated the more he rose up the ladder. At 24, Cusick split 2010 between Double- and Triple-A, hitting for an overall line of .243/.318/.342 while playing second and third base. Given Cleveland has no shortage of quality young players at second and third (check out their depth here ), this deal is a bit curious. Cusick has a chance to eventually stick as a backup, but only if he reclaims the power that once made the Yankees trade for him.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 19, 2010 4:49 pm
 

R.I.P. Indians: Yet another building process

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions in October. Today: the last entry in the Cleveland Indians.

Poor Cleveland. They came within one win of advancing to the World Series in 2007, but since then have been caught in a web of ineffectiveness that saw Eric Wedge booted and the roster undergoing an overhaul.

It's disappointing to see a mid-market team like this come so close and have to completely scrap their entire team and start from scratch. Yes, the Indians somehow only lost 93 games with a team that should have lost much more, but the next few seasons will be about building the team back up, not contending.

WHAT WENT WRONG

You hate to see a team kicked when down, but that's exactly what happened on August 2 when the Red Sox's Ryan Kalish barrelled into Santana. The catcher ended up having to undergo knee surgery to repair his LCL. A shame given Santana (pictured, below right) is perhaps the best young catcher in the game with a .260/.401/.467 line in 192 plate appearances. He became the first Indians player since 1997 to make his big-league debut batting third. That's how good this dude is.

Meanwhile, first baseman Matt LaPorta, acquired from Milwaukee in the CC Sabathia trade, flailed in his extended shot of playing time. LaPorta is the team's future when it comes to a power bat, but the 25-year-old just couldn't do anything in 2010. He finished with a .221/.306/.362 line and 12 home runs in 425 PA and time is fast running out for the slugger. He'll get another shot in the bigs in 2011, but it's time for him to do what he does so well in the minors: mash.

Lastly, Grady Sizemore, one of the more exciting five-tool outfielders in the game, hit rock bottom. The 27-year-old cranked 33 home runs and bashed to the tune of a .268/.374/.502 line in 745 PA in 2008, but missed the end of 2009 with left elbow surgery. His return consisted of 140 trips to the plate and an unsightly .211/.271/.289 line before having surgery on his left knee for a microfracture. Can he ever regain his top form? Probably not.

Carlos Santana WHAT WENT RIGHT

The Indians did have something go right for them with the emergence of relief pitcher Chris Perez. Perez, acquired from the Cardinals for Mark DeRosa in 2009, grabbed 23 saves and wrested the closer's role away from Kerry Wood while posting a 1.71 ERA. That's above his head as evidenced by a 4.30 xFIP, but he should still turn into a quality closer. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Perez may price himself out of the team's range by the time the club is ready to contend again. Fortunately, however, the Indians should get a nice return if and when they deal Perez.

Speaking of Kerry Wood, the Indians did what so few other non-contending teams did with their veterans who weren't going to return: they got rid of them. Wood went to the Yankees and flourished as a setup man while the Indians came away with some money recouped. The club also dealt away Austin Kearns (also to the Yankees) and Russell Branyan (Mariners), freeing up playing time for Perez, outfielder Michael Brantley and Shelley Duncan.

Fausto Carmona also returned from a two-year absence as an effective starting pitcher to post a 3.77 ERA in 210 innings. The 26-year-old is locked up for years and incredibly cheap as well, which has made him very in demand for other teams. Cleveland can opt to either get a nice haul in return for Carmona or have him head up the rotation as the club rebuilds. Either way, the team has a top-flight starter for cheap.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

The Indians graduated plenty of players to the bigs in 2010 that should have major impacts the rest of the way, including Santana, SP Mitch Talbot (acquired from Rays), reliever, Frank Herrmann and 2B Jason Donald. But the team needs so much more.

Fortunately, the team is rather deep in prospects remaining. Those that could help in the year 2011 include Nick Hagadone, acquired from Boston in the Victor Martinez deal. Hagadone struggled as a starter but could morph into a dominant reliever. Meanwhile, Nick Weglarz represents Cleveland's new hope as a power hitter and should debut at some point in 2011 and Jason Kipnis could wrap up the second base job for years by the end of the season.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Indians are still in a rebuilding phase. While the team has an intriguing number of bats, they are still too young and inconsistent, while the pitching remains far off. 90-plus losses is all but certain.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Indians figure to go after a first baseman to pair with LaPorta, a starting third baseman, and perhaps even an outfielder although Weglarz could be handed the job in spring training.

Tackling in reverse order, the Indians should stay pat and go with an outfield of Trevor Crowe-Michael Brantley-Shin-Soo Choo and filter in Weglarz and Sizemore when the two are deemed ready.

Jason Donald While third base could be permanently occupied by Jason Donald (pictured, left) or Luis Valbuena once Kipnis debuts, the team needs another year of protection. Adam Kennedy, who resurrected his career with the Nationals, could be that person. Kennedy can play around the infield and would collect enough at-bats to be worth bringing in while not stunting the development of Donald, Valbuena or Asdrubal Cabrera.

As for first base, the Indians need someone who can platoon with Matt LaPorta, but not send LaPorta to the bench. An ability to play the outfield is a plus as well, and the answer is already on the team in Shelley Duncan. Bringing Russell Branyan back isn't a terrible idea, but the team shouldn't spend much time looking for options as a backup first baseman.

Lastly, the Indians need to bring in a veteran starting pitcher who can soak up innings and mentor the young pitchers. Picking up ex-Indian Kevin Millwod could work, as well as Justin Duchscherer or Aaron Harang.

2011 PREDICTION

It's going to be more of the same for the Indians next season, and the team needs to find a way to develop an impact pitcher rather than the back-end types the team has proven especially adept in producing.

Check out the other R.I.P. reports here.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: October 1, 2010 4:51 pm
 

Wood sees different pressure in New York

Kerry Wood Kerry Wood came up with the Cubs and was right in the thick of the infamous 2003 ALCS, so he knows a bit about pressure.

Since joining Cleveland prior to the 2009 season, Wood hasn't had to worry much about pressure, but he finds himself in yet another pressure-packed postseason chase -- except the pressure is completely different from Chicago.

"The expectations were the same, but we were dealing with 100 years," Wood said of his time with Chicago to the New York Times . "Here, you’re part of an organization that’s won 27 championships. The pressure is year to year, so you’re not dealing with the ghosts of everybody else."

Wood has been on fire since joining the Yankees at the trade deadline, posting an 0.36 ERA in 25 innings, punching out 29 even as his walk rate remains high at 15. This after a 6.30 ERA at the trade deadline, and 7.98 ERA on June 23.

"Our scouts told us to look past his numbers because his stuff was much better than that," GM Brian Cashman said. "This was a wing and a prayer for us. If he was healthy and healed, we thought we’d take a chance. Obviously, it’s worked out."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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