Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cincy Interested in Kerry Wood?

Could Wood find himself moving from the shores of the
Great Lakes to the banks of the Ohio in 2012?
According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, the Reds are among many teams interested in acquiring free agent reliever Kerry Wood.

This after rumblings around Chicago that the 34-year old is unwilling to accept another hometown discount from the Cubs. Although new GM Theo Epstein is openly saying the team would like to bring Wood back, his actions don't necessarily reflect his words. Here are two excerpts from Kaplan's piece to better detail the situation:

"Woody wanted to be here despite the rebuilding process but while the Cubs were saying they wanted him back they were unwilling to pay him the market value for a solid set up man," [a source] said. "He has heard from a number of teams that are World Series contenders and they are all willing to pay him a very fair salary to strengthen their bullpen. The Cubs expected him to pitch for another hometown discount. He has already done that for them a couple of times before. There is no reason that he should have to do that again."

If Wood's career with the Cubs is indeed over he leaves as one of the most popular players in team history and also one of the classiest. He is very deserving of playing for a team that has a legitimate chance to win a championship and with the Tigers, the Phillies, the Reds, the Angels and others all interested, Wood's options are many. It appears he will make a decision on his next home by Saturday. Will Theo Epstein ride to the rescue and save the day? If he plans on it time is running out so he better move quickly.

The one-time starter turned reliever earned $1.5 million in 2011 pitching for the Cubbies -- this after raking in $10 million from the Indians in both 2010 and '09. Given his age and production from last season (3-5, 3.35 ERA, 51 IP), I would say the ideal market rate for him per season is around the $2 to $3 million range.

During the course of his career the native Texan has stifled the Redlegs, boasting twice as many wins against them (14) than the next closest team (Milwaukee with 7). This includes 47 lifetime games (21 starts) against them in which the right-hander sports a 2.85 ERA, 1.097 WHIP, and a whopping 3.41 K/BB ratio. In 23 pitching appearances in the city of Cincinnati, Wood is 10-3 (6-0 at the now defunct Cinergy Field) with an ERA around 3.00 and a SO/9 ratio of nearly 12.0. Simply put, this guy likes pitching in the Queen City.

If GM Walt Jocketty and the Reds can't work out a deal to re-sign free agent Francisco Cordero, adding Wood may be the next best option. If Wood were to sign with Cincy it would likely mean inserting newly-acquired lefty Sean Marshall into the closer role and having his former Cub teammate setup in the eighth. All told, the duo of Marshall and Wood together would make about half of what Cordero was set to make in '12 ($12 million) -- a scenario that would bode well on the payroll and quite possibly the diamond.

No comments: