Cubs GM Jim Hendry elected not to offer arbitration to any of its free agent players, including Type A free agents Kerry Wood and Bob Howry. The Howry move was a no-brainer for Hendry, but I am surprised that Hendry did not offer arbitration to Wood. The Cubs have made it very clear that Wood was not part of their long term plans when they traded for Marlins set-up man Kevin Gregg in November. If the Cubs offered Wood arbitration and he signed with another team, that team would owe the Cubs 2 compensatory draft picks in the 2009 draft. It is all but certain that Wood will re-sign with another team, so I’m not sure why they didn’t offer him arbitration to get the 2 draft picks.
Does this mean that Wood may return to the Cubs by signing a multi-year free agent deal? Who knows at this point. Manager Lou Pinella and the Cubs have indicated that they need another veteran arm for the bullpen, so you can’t close the door on Wood just yet.
The winter meetings begin next week in Las Vegas, so we should be in for a fun week of rumors over the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see where the Cubs look for left-handed hitting and bullpen help before the start of the 2009 MLB season. Stay tuned.