LAS VEGAS – A Cleveland Indians source expressed confidence Tuesday afternoon that the team is close to signing closer Kerry Wood, who also had been targeted by Cleveland's American League Central rival, the Detroit Tigers.
With Wood having been on the disabled list 13 times, the source cautioned that the Indians would have to be satisfied that the 31-year-old right-hander is healthy, meaning a physical would come before any announcement.
According to another team that pursued Wood, the deal is for two years and $20 million, with a club or vesting option for a third year. Wood's base salary last season was $4.2 million, but his contract contained numerous performance bonus clauses that added another $3.45 million.
Wood enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2008, notching 34 saves in his first season as a closer and striking out 84 batters in 66 1/3 innings.
One factor apparently working in the Indians' favor, according to the source, is their impending move from their spring-training home in Winter Haven, Fla., to a new facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Wood's off-season home is in Arizona.
The Tigers, who have made signing a closer a priority, plan to accelerate efforts to strike a deal with Seattle for J.J. Putz, though they have not closed the door on other options. The Tigers, who earlier this week traded for Texas catcher Gerald Laird, also came to terms with free-agent shortstop Adam Everett on a one-year, $1 million deal. Everett is expected to share time at shortstop with Ramon Santiago.