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Theo Epstein Wants Kerry Wood to Re-sign with Chicago Cubs: Fan’s Take
There was some doubt as to whether Kerry Wood(notes) would be spending a 13th season with the Chicago Cubs. He's already claimed that he'd rather retire than play for anyone else. The only question was whether the incoming general manager and/or president of baseball operations would want him back.
Theo Epstein has given his full support in re-signing Wood. Epstein claimed:
"He makes us a better organization. That's because of what he brings to the clubhouse as well as his leadership so I'd like to get him back in the fold and move forward with him."
Wood is coming off a solid season. Wood went 3-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 55 relief appearances last season. He also had 21 holds as the right-handed setup man. Wood was playing on a one-year contract that paid him $1.5 million. That's a significant bargain when one considers the salary that was paid to someone like John Grabow(notes).
All anyone has to do is read my shirttail and they can figure out how I feel about Wood returning for a 13th season. I feel like he's a valuable asset out of the bullpen and can serve as a middle reliever, setup specialist or even emergency closer. He's well-respected in the clubhouse and has a positive influence on the entire roster.
That sounds like a fabulous deal for a contract that's expected to be worth $2 million for one or two seasons. Jeff Samardzija(notes), Sean Marshall(notes) and Wood make for a solid three-headed monster out of the bullpen. The Cubs just need Carlos Marmol(notes) to work on his control issues.
The Cubs could probably find a role for him even after his playing days have ended. He's basically fulfilled every role in the pitching rotation outside of maybe being a long reliever. He's had to endure injuries throughout his career. Wood was also a member of the 2003 Cubs team that has the organization's only playoff-series victory since 1908.
Wood seems like the ideal candidate for a pitching coach if they ever needed one in the near future.
But I'm not ready for his playing days to expire; I'd like to see Wood play at least one more season if he wants too. The bullpen is the one good thing that the Cubs have going for them as long as the starting rotation can eat enough innings (i.e. get enough quality starts).
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid 1990s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months.
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