The Cubs, who have a major need for a veteran right handed reliever are moving towards finalizing a deal with free agent Kerry Wood. Wood, who spent the first 10 years of his major league career with the Cubs, spent 2010 with the Indians and Yankees and compiled impressive numbers down the stretch as he helped the Yankees make the playoffs.
Wood has made Chicago his home and told us last week that whatever decision he made about where he would pitch in 2011 had to be a good fit for his family. Being able to stay home and his longtime relationship with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry are huge factors in the Cubs favor.
A lot of Yankee fans aren’t going to like this, but it may be a good thing. Wood came here last season and really solidified the bullpen that had a lot of trouble early on. Wood not only pitched well himself, but seemed to settle down both Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson with his presence.
Injured players are a liability and if the Yankees signed Wood they would be banking on him to be a vital part of their bullpen. If he got hurt it would really set them back. It wouldn’t be like when Nick Johnson got hurt last year and he was easily replaced and forgotten about. If Wood gets hurt they not only lose their primary setup-man, but they hurt the rest of their pen as well.
He came here and did a good job. He may even have a good 2011 season. But the Yankees need to look at other less risky options and move forward.
What do you think about Wood? Are the Yankees making a mistake by not being aggressive enough? Or like me do you think the other possibilities are at least as impressive?