View Full Version : Cubs and Wood part ways.

11-14-2008, 03:39 AM

As Gregg arrives, Wood likely to depart
Cubs deal Ceda in exchange, hand closer duties to Marmol
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

"I don't think we could do for [Kerry Wood] right now what he deserves and what he'll get by going elsewhere," said Jim Hendry on Thursday. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)
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CHICAGO -- The Cubs most likely have said goodbye to Kerry Wood.
On Thursday, the team traded Minor League pitcher Jose Ceda to the Florida Marlins for reliever Kevin Gregg, but also gave notice that they are not expected to re-sign Wood, who is a free agent.

"I don't think we could do for [Wood] right now what he deserves and what he'll get by going elsewhere," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.

Wood's career began in 1998, when he burst onto the scene with a 20-strikeout game in his fifth start. He won the National League Rookie of the Year Award that season, won 14 games in 2003, but was switched to a relief role to ease some of the strain on his right shoulder. This year, he was named to the National League All-Star team and completed 34 of 40 save situations.

Wood will be a hot item on the market while the Cubs address other needs.

"We're just in a situation that Kerry fully understands, and it's that the length of a deal for the kind of salary he would command right now is not our first priority," Hendry said. "We certainly have to finish our rotation. We have offensive situations to address. By having the prominence that [Carlos] Marmol now brings to the table, it certainly doesn't come before the other needs that we have.

"We felt it was time that Kerry goes out and does what's best for him and his family and gets a huge multi-year deal if possible. At the same time, the Kevin Gregg situation came up in the last four, five days. We felt it was something we couldn't pass up on."

Marmol becomes the leading candidate to take over the closer duties in 2009, while Gregg, who was 7-8 with 29 saves for the Marlins, will be used as a setup pitcher and part-time closer.

The addition of Gregg also gives young pitchers like Jeff Samardzija and Kevin Hart a chance to develop. Both could be used either in the bullpen or develop as starters, depending on what the team needs, Hendry said.

Wood has been the one constant on the Cubs and is the only one to have played on four postseason teams, doing so in 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2008. He has a career 77-61 record, 3.65 ERA and 1,407 strikeouts.

He showed his durability this year by pitching on no days' rest in 19 games and compiling a 2.45 ERA with 13 saves.

"I think everyone who knows us knows how we all feel about 'Woody,'" Hendry said. "I don't think I've ever had a longer or more special relationship with anyone in professional baseball. 'Woody' will always be a Cub. If he finishes his career elsewhere, he'll always be welcome to be employed here, be an active Cub for life and take part in any fashion he wants to."

Hendry said the Cubs payroll will go up slightly in 2009, but added that "at the same time, you can't keep going with long-term, high-level deals for everyone, and you eventually have to pick and choose in the order you feel is most important." Having Marmol already in the mix, the Cubs' first priority will be finishing the rotation and putting some left-handed hitting on the field, Hendry said.

Hendry met this past weekend with Wood's representatives and explained the situation.

"What Kerry understands is by making a trade like this, it only helps him," Hendry said. "There are a lot of teams in baseball who always thought no matter what their offer was, Kerry would go back to the Cubs. I think this gives him the opportunity to maximize his ability to get a great deal that he deserves elsewhere."

Is Marmol ready? The right-hander is coming off a stellar season in which he was named to the NL All-Star team and collected a franchise-record 30 holds.

"I think Marmol's certainly ready to pitch in the ninth inning, no doubt about it, and so is Kevin Gregg," Hendry said. "I think we've given Lou [Piniella] and [pitching coach] Larry Rothschild two options who can pitch late in the game."

Gregg, who underwent what he called a "maintenance" type surgery on his knee this offseason, said he was ecstatic about the trade.

"It's one of those teams, I've always said I've wanted to play there and play for the Cubs," Gregg said. "I can't say enough about the organization and the atmosphere there."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

11-14-2008, 03:40 AM
I would sure like to see Wood in a Reds uni! Our bullpen would be dominate for the next few years, as long as we sign a few FA's that were here last year.

11-14-2008, 08:39 AM
I don't see the Reds spending for another closer........especially when closers are in such high demand and there aren't many on the free agent market. I'm sure Texas or Detroit will gobble him up.

11-14-2008, 08:52 AM
I don't think I would tinker too much with the Pen. Sure we're paying Cordero WAY too much money, but he at least gives it order in terms of where guys are slotted. Trading him and signing another closer for big time money would be a lateral move at best.

I do my best to sign Lincoln and Affeldt and thats about it in terms of the Pen. We have enough tweeners to fill out the back end if need be.

I don't move Cordero until Zach Stewart is ready to go.

11-14-2008, 02:06 PM
Kerry Wood-R- Cubs Nov. 14 - 9:54 am et

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that "one rival executive predicts that the Rangers will make a strong run" at Kerry Wood.

Chicago's trade for Kevin Gregg seemingly ends Wood's time with the Cubs and the Texas native would be a big upgrade to the Rangers' shaky bullpen that ranked dead last among MLB teams with a 5.15 ERA in 2008.
Source: FOXSports.com
Related: Rangers

sounds like it could be a fit.

11-14-2008, 04:20 PM
sounds like it could be a fit.

If Texas signs Wood, look for them to compete next year. They got the offense, they just need the pitching. It would be a great signing and put them on the radar for sure.

11-14-2008, 04:23 PM
it would definitely help their bullpen. their rotation is a different story.

11-14-2008, 04:24 PM
it would definitely help their bullpen. their rotation is a different story.

Which is why Arroyo and Bailey for some of their bats would be a nice move.:cool:

11-14-2008, 04:28 PM
i bet they pick up a FA pitcher and if they deal for another pitcher they'll move a catcher and prospects not named elvis.

11-14-2008, 05:22 PM
:) I will be blown away if Kerry Wood ends up anywhere but Texas. Milwaukee can't risk another Eric Gagne scenario, and Wood worships the ground that Texas President Nolan Ryan walks on.