Posted on 24 January 2009 by Lou
Kerry Wood was part of the Chicago Cubs organization for 13 years and has become a part of the City of Chicago like no other Cubs player of recent date. He calls Lincoln Park his home, and he will continue to call Chicago his home even after his signing with the Cleveland Indians this off-season. He made one final good-bye gesture to the city and Cubs fans with ads in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times over the weekend:
“It has been an honor to have been a Chicago Cub for the last 13 years and to have played in the greatest ballpark, Wrigley Field. My deepest thanks to my teammates and the Cubs organization for taking a chance on a kid from Texas and welcoming me into the Cubs family.”
The ads also included pictures from his days as a Chicago Cub – when he signed with the Cubs in July 1995, when he struck out 20 batters in an MLB game in May 1998 and when he was the closer for the Cubs during the 2008 MLB season.
Wood has recently indicated that he would have returned to the Cubs in 2009 under a 1-year contract, but Cubs GM Jim Hendry disputes that contention. Hendry told the media and fans at this past weekend’s Cubs Convention that Wood’s agents were seeking a 3-year deal for the closer. Hendry felt that because of Wood’s injury issues the last 4 MLB seasons – that put Wood on the DL for more than 50% of the team’s games during that span – it would not be fair to the Cubs organization to sign Wood for that period of team.
In any event, it was nice that Wood had nice things to say about the Cubs organization in his ads – despite this latest controversy – and we’re sure we’ll be seeing lots of Kerry Wood and his family in the Chicago area for years to come. Good luck Kerry!
Posted on 02 November 2008 by Lou
As expected, Chicago Cubs closer filed for free agency. He joins several other Chicago Cubs players to file for free agency, most notably Ryan Dempster the Cubs most reliable starter during the 2008 season.
Kerry Wood closed 34 games for the Cubs in 2008. He pitched in 65 games for the Cubs and racked up an impressive 66 1/3 innings. Wood struck out 84 batters, walked only 18 and held opponents to a .219 batting average against. Although Wood is an injury risk, his ability to last the entire season in 2008 (save for a nagging blister injury on his throwing hand that cost him a few weeks in August) shows that he has what it takes to remain a solid reliever for the foreseeable future. Wood shed a lot of weight during the off-season preceding the 2008 campaign, and has developed a great work regimen to strengthen his right shoulder to counter-act any damage the area has sustained over the years as a MLB starter. GM Jim Hendry needs to keep Wood in the Cubs bullpen – one of the best bullpens in the National League in 2008. Wood loves playing here in Chicago and is likely willing to listen to all deals in order to stay in Chicago. The one sticking point could be the length of the contract. Other MLB clubs looking to lock up a closer long-term could throw an additional year or 2 on the back-end of a contract to lure Wood away from the Cubs. Look for Hendry and Wood’s agents to start talking very soon to work out a deal before the November 14th deadline. We expect the same to happen with Cubs starter Dempster. We believe Dempster and Wood will be large keys to any success the Cubs have in 2009.
Two other Cubs players made it official and filed for free agency on Friday, October 31st – Catcher Henry Blanco and Pitcher Jon Lieber.