You know who really loves Kerry Wood? Chicago. And you know who really loves Chicago? Kerry Wood. A year ago, Wood signed with the Cubs at a discount, because he wanted to. He signed a one-year contract, meaning he became a free agent again after the season. But he's not going anywhere - as announced at Friday's Cubs Convention, Wood is staying put.
Kerry Wood has agreed to a deal who stay with the Cubs. Insane ovation at the Cubs Convention as the great Pat Hughes announces the deal.
Wood's getting a one-year contract worth $3 million, which doubles the $1.5 million in guaranteed salary for which he signed last time around. His 2011 performance was certainly worthy of a raise.
What's interesting is that, just a few days ago, there was this:
While new Cubs baseball management has said all the right things about re-signing Kerry Wood as they go about the process of rebuilding a 71-win team, it appears that talking may be as far as they are going to go to get a deal done with the popular pitcher. Sources with knowledge of the negotiations told me late Monday night that Wood's days as a Cub appear all but over.
Wrong! Wood wanted a raise. Other teams were reported to be interested in him, but the Cubs offered him that raise - a substantial raise, in terms of percent - and so Wood is re-signing. It's funny how quickly things can completely reverse.
The 2012 Cubs are expected to be bad, so in that regard it might be weird that they're signing a 34-year-old setup man, but $3 million isn't much for an arm like Wood's, and more importantly, he is so beloved that this is probably worthwhile just to avoid the PR hassle. Last season, Wood whiffed 57 batters in 51 innings. The season before that, 49 in 46. He'll probably do his job pretty well, and be one of those guys who isn't part of the problem.