The Yankees offseason hasn’t been an especially busy one, but as the offseason winds down they are taking a look at the free agents still left. They already got one deal on Chris Carter and perhaps they’re looking for another in Travis Wood, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Tweets that the Yankees have checked in in the free agent lefty.
Wood, who just turned 30 this month, would slot into the Yankees rotation that still has two open spots behind veterans CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda. He hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2014, though, when he posted a 5.03 ERA in 31 starts for the Cubs. Since then, he has transitioned to the bullpen where he posted a 2.95 ERA with a 6.9 K/9 and a 3.5 BB/9.
Wood would give the Yankees another option to battle it out for those final two rotation spots with Luis Severino, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and Adam Warren. GM Brian Cashman said that one or more from that group could go down to Triple-A where they would start and stay stretched out. Wood’s arrival would give them flexibility in that respect.
While that flexibility and the fact that all of the Yankees’ veteran starters will be free agents after this season makes any veteran pitcher look like a decent idea for the bombers. However, Wood has never been consistent throughout his career and has only posted above-average seasons randomly throughout his career. His poor track record, his 1.96 K/BB ratio last year, and his 33.6 career ground ball percentage suggests that he would be a bad fit in the Bronx. Anything more than a minor league deal would probably not help the Yankees.