Wood Back to Kerry the Cubs

UPDATE #2: The deal is for $4.2 MM with the potential to earn another $3.45 MM in incentive clauses. Last year the incentive clauses in his contract were (according to Cot's Baseball Contracts):
$2M based on games: $0.3M for 40 g, $0.35M for 45 g, $0.4M for 50 g, $0.45M for 55 g, $0.5M for 60 g $2M based on games finished: $0.2M for 25 GF, $0.25M for 30 GF, $0.3M for 35 GF, $0.35M for 40 GF, $0.4M for 45 GF, $0.5M for 50 GF $0.75M based on days on active roster: $0.25M each for 90, 120 & 150 days on active roster
so expect something similar. UPDATE: The official press release... Our faithful readers are telling us that ESPN 1000 and Bruce Levine are reporting that Kerry Wood will resign with the Cubs on what sounds like an uber-cheap one year, four million dollar deal. I imagine there will be plenty of incentive clauses in there. I'm sure details will leak out soon enough but Hendry keeps his record in tact for keeping ballplayers that he wants to keep and the Cubs get another bullpen power arm with huge upside. Chances are that Wood, Marmol and Howry will compete for the closer duties this spring.
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Comments

I don't think that this was an "uber-cheap" deal.

From what MLB Trade Rumors said (I know... not so reliable), Wood was being offered 2 yr deals worth 5-6 million. If that is true, that would mean the Cubs offered more per year than those other deals.

Wood hasn't pitched more than a healthy month in a few years now.

Don't get me wrong - I like the deal, and would have done it in a second if I had been in charge. But there couldn't have been many teams willing to guarantee much money to a guy who has proven that he cannot stay healthy.

That's great news.

This is good. Assuming he pitches like he did last year, we're looking at one of the best bullys in the NL. Again.

Without Dempster this time.

well it seems cheap to me...

figured he'd get 2/10 or something...

Just wish they would cut ties with Wood, but oh well, as long as they are not counting on him for anything, it won't be a disaster.

Cue all the Wood for closer talk...

I like the deal, if Wood can stay healthy. I am sure that the contract has some nice incentives.

mannytrillo — November 26, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

Just wish they would cut ties with Wood
----------------------

I understood this logic when we were penciling him as a starter, but why does this line of thinking still exist now that Hendry has made clear his role will be in the pen?

this is good ,big jim can know concentrate
on finding that right fielder

because Manny has to complain about something...

Got any more cruises lined up Manny?

Okay, well, this is what I was expecting, so I can't really say that I am excited, but I am happy that it got done. On to Fukudome... and I wouldn't be all that bummed about picking up another SP....

LNL:
"I understood this logic when we were penciling him as a starter, but why does this line of thinking still exist now that Hendry has made clear his role will be in the pen?"

While you make a point, the fact that talk will very soon turn to Wood for closer, again makes expectations rise and he is still very injury prone, and personally I am tired of expecting Wood to help this team again.

Even given Wood's history, 1 yr/$4m is cheap. Look at what those silly Pale Hose just paid for Linebrink! Four years, $19m! The Wood deal is cheap not only because of the salary, but because of the length: long-term reliever deals bite the team more often than not.

Having said that, Wood walks a few too many people for my liking to come in with the game on the line, but even so this bullpen looks pretty good.

Marmol for closer. :)

Oh and ESPN.com shows the Wood deal on their "transactions" page now.

The Joe:
"Got any more cruises lined up Manny?"

Not until next November. It won't be on Princess though i can tell you that.

I like Kerry Wood and I would love to see him excel in a Cubs uniform. However, how in the world did Wood cure what ails him with his arm? If I recall he was all set for an opeartion and then he was able to pitch. I love the guy and I hope that woody can pull it together. He showed some promise in 2007 but he could easily be on the disabled list as well in 08. I just hope the Cubs at a minimum have an option for year 2, otherwise if Wood has a good year in 08 he will be wearing some Yankee pinstripes in 09.

Rob G.:
"because Manny has to complain about something…"

I am not complaining about the signing. I just wouldn't have signed him again. I just hope Hendry or anyone starts counting on him to be closer.

I just hope the Cubs at a minimum have an option for year 2, otherwise if Wood has a good year in 08 he will be wearing some Yankee pinstripes in 09.

If Kerry wanted to go somewhere else or if the Cubs didn't want to keep him, he would have been gone either last year or this year.

I would've liked to see another year added to this deal, but on the whole...very happy to see KW back.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_...

Cubs playoff share $$$

(Share of Players' Pool: $1,573,781.74; value of each full share: $24,507.95) - The Cubs awarded 52 full shares, 11.44 partial shares and six cash award

Chris H.:
"Even given Wood’s history, 1 yr/$4m is cheap. Look at what those silly Pale Hose just paid for Linebrink! Four years, $19m! The Wood deal is cheap not only because of the salary, but because of the length: long-term reliever deals bite the team more often than not."

Good point, that 1 year is nice. If he gets hurt again, then the Cubs can just cut ties. The deal is very fair for the Cubs and a good contract by Hendry as long as there are not tons of easily acquired incentives.

and why do 2nd place teams get any playoff money?

hell with Fukudome...put the full court press on getting Johan

"and why do 2nd place teams get any playoff money?"

I dunno. Maybe they help put pressure on the 1st place team? :-)

LEVINE also reported today than a three year offer was made to Matsui - he feels it would be an upgrade and force DeRo into the "SuperSub" role...FWIW

who feels it's an upgrade? Levine or Hendry?

There’s no way to know exactly how the negotiations progressed, but given the choice between 1/4 or 2/6 for KW, give me the latter. The reward (high-quality power relief pitcher and a lifetime Cub to boot) far outweighs the risk (Kerry Wood syndrome). If he isn’t hurt in 2008, he’s going to get paid well, especially if he proves he can save games.

Glad to have you back, Kid K.

While I am amazed at my feeling of happiness over this deal, the fact is that Kerry showed himself last year to be a valuable bullpen presence. His performance in Florida was the highlight of the series (not that there was much competition). He has clearly shown himself to be a player with something resembling integrity and loyalty to who brung him and invested so much in him early on. For sure, a player who is "wants to be a ____" is overrated, but when you get that attitude and the ability Kerry showed last year, for $4 million over a year, it's a good day.

I believe that we will see the exact opposite play out with Prior. Regardless of his ability, I don't think he wants to be here. I personally am glad that Wood turned out to be the tentative success story.

Well, so who becomes the setup men and the closer now? I'd like to see Howry and then Marmol setting up in the 7th and 8th, with Wood closing.

#26 was I, sorry. Didn't mean to name-jump (again).

"who feels it’s an upgrade?"

Bruce Levine

they'll probably battle it out in spring training...

if they continue to use Marmol in 1+ inning situations though, he's probably better suited as a set-up guy that can come in as early as the 6th..

well Levine should watch more baseball then...

upgrade? Matsui's line away from Coors has been pathetic in his career. Trade for Infante and trying to sign Matsui, maybe it wasn't all Dusty that loved those crappy middle IF's.

But, he bats lefty away from Coors, so there you go.

Plus, his Asiosity is a plus.

I'm just the messenger here. I know - not impressed at all w/Matsui.

In relation to the possibility of the Matsui signing, since it appears that the Cubs want Matsui at least partially to get a Japanese presence on the team in preparation for going after K-Fuk, does anyone know if K-Fuk has declared whether he's staying in Japan or not?

I may be in the minority but I would have prefered 2/6 over 1/4 (if those are real numbers associated with real choices). I think would will be a decent reliever. I don't think his risk of injury is that different at this point than many other relievers while the upside (again, as a reliever) is pretty high. Let him setup and if he is real steady, I am sure he has the mentality maybe to close some day.

That's Wood not "would" above. Doh!

Yeah, the Matsui thing makes no sense to me at all. That Hendry keeps collecting crappy infielders tells me he should be fired, or at least made to explain why he likes them so much.

Matsui is a downgrade from DeRosa IMO.

It'd be pretty ironic if it turned out they hated each other.

Hendry: See, K-Fuk, we got you a friend to play with.
K-Fuk: But he's a douchebag.
Hendry: Fuck.
K-Fuk: What?

K-Fuk hasn't officially declared anything with respect to playing in Japan or the US.

I really hope the Cubs can execute a full court press on this guy. I know Hendry doesn't actively try to find guys with OBP, so any chance to accidentally wind up with one should not be missed.

+5 for Joe on comment #40....

Kaz probably slept with Fuk's girlfriend in high school.

I really hope the Cubs can execute a full court press on this guy. I know Hendry doesn’t actively try to find guys with OBP, so any chance to accidentally wind up with one should not be missed.

As has been pointed out by others...

Fukudome and Matsui had pretty similar numbers in Japan.

So it is a bit amusing to hear people complaining about Matsui but excited about Fukudome like he a sure upgrade.

I thought he was like Hideki? Am I wrong? I wouldn't mind a Hideki-like player, personally.

I should have clarified that a bit more, but he was somewhat better than Kaz, but not as good as Hideki:

In Japan:
Fukudome: .305/.397/.543
Kaz Matsui: .309/.361/.486
Hideki Matsui: .304/.413/.582

I guess he falls somewhere in-between the two Matsui's.

Fukudome will probably come at a premium. I can't help but think we could find a better use for the money.

Regarding 1/4 vs 2/6, I would wager that Wood preferred the 1/4 in the event he truly is back, he can cash in next year instead of risking another injury in the second year and not landing a fat contract. I think he signed for the hometown/loyalty discount, but his pound-of-flesh was the one-year deal. I'm sure Hendry was easily willing to give him one year as it mitigates risk, and that's how it got done.

I see. I had just thought I'd heard the Hideki comparison before, and thought maybe I was mistaken.

I'd gladly pay $4mil/year for this:

"Overall in 2007, Wood tossed 18 scoreless appearances and allowed one run or less in 21 of 22 appearances, as six of his nine runs allowed came in two outings. He limited opponents to a .207 batting average and struck out 24 batters in 24.1 innings. He finished the campaign with eight consecutive scoreless appearances covering 9.2 innings, striking out 13 and walking only three in that span."

People may say that Matsui and Fukudome had pretty similar numbers in Japan, but is that really the case?

Matsui year-by-year OPS:

1996: .664
1997: .793
1998: .812
1999: .871
2000: .932
2001: .861
2002: 1.006
2003: .914

Matsui lifetime (Japan) OPS: .847

Fukudome year-by-year OPS:

1999: .810
2000: .796
2001: .792
2002: .943
2003: 1.005
2004: .936
2005: 1.020
2006: 1.091
2007: .963

Fukudome lifetime (Japan) OPS: .940

1. Congratulations to Phil Rogers who just wrote that the Kerry Wood seems unlikely to re-sign with the Cubs.

2. I still think the bullpen needs a right-hander, either to close or replace whoever becomes a closer.

Iwamura in Tampa Bay is said to be the closest comp to K-Fuck. Here below is Iwamura's stats this year. Keep in mind that K-fuck also missed 100+ games this year with an elbow injury. Not exactly a slam dunk that he returns 100% to pre-injury form. FWIW

http://www.baseball-reference.com/i/iwamuak01...

Play Murton

Several reports have indicated the Cubs are very interested in signing the Japanese star. Fukudome is scheduled to meet with his U.S. agents at Octagon on November 29th but a report out of Japan last week indicated Fukudome might not make a decision until around the first of the year. Fukudome is weighing his options on whether he should stay in Japan or make the move to the Major Leagues. One report indicated there is a 50-50 chance he will make a change.

Fukudome fits the description of the type of player Lou Piniella is looking for to man right field next season and beyond. From all of the scouting reports, Fukudome is a very good defender with a strong arm, very patient at the plate with enough power to project him hitting between 25-30 home runs a year in the majors, some have said he would be a good number two hitter in most lineups.

Have the Cubs put all of their 'eggs' in the Fukudome basket like they did with Rafael Furcal a couple of years ago? If the Cubs are not able to land Fukudome does Jim Hendry have a back-up plan?

Geoff Jenkins...

UGH. I sure hope not (Jenkins). Like we need a free-swinging K-prone guy.

Jenkins does hit lefthanded

Well, this should settle it. Everything you need to know about KOHSUKE Fukudome. According to him:

"I am No. 1 slugger."

Everything else is in Japanese though.

http://www.fukudome1.com/

ESPN.com is reporting that the Kerry Wood deal is $4.2m, with an additional $3.45m possible in incentives.

Hmm. That...sounds a bit pricey, depending on what the "incentives" are.

[edit] Professional Career
The Chunichi Dragons drafted Fukudome in 1998 in the first round as a shortstop. Manager Senichi Hoshino used Fukudome in 132 games in his rookie year, and Fukudome responded well, hitting 16 home runs, with a .284 batting average, contributing to his team's league championship. However, he also led the league in strikeouts, and had poor defense at shortstop. Fukudome was fast, and had a strong arm, but simply did not have the ability to field ground balls. He made several errors which led to his team's loss in the championship series, and was often taken out of games in later innings.

He was converted to third base in his second year, but his fielding made little improvement, and his hitting dropped down as well. He was converted to outfield the next year, and played poorly at first, but gradually made improvements, becoming the regular right fielder. His natural speed and strong arm worked wonders from then on, and he has received 4 Golden Glove awards in the outfield.

His hitting improved dramatically as well, and stopped Hideki Matsui's run for the triple crown in 2002, with the highest batting average in the league (.343). He hit .313 with 34 homers the next year, establishing himself as one of the best hitters in the league.

In 2004, he joined the Japanese Olympic baseball team for the second time, winning a bronze medal in the Athens Olympics. He was chosen for the 2006 World Baseball Classic team, and pinch-hit for a two-run home run off Byung-Hyun Kim in the semi-finals against Korea. He pinch-hit again in the finals for a two-run hit against Cuba.

In 2006, he batted .351 with 31 home runs and 104 RBIs, winning the Central League MVP award.

His total performance in Japanese career resembles that of Akinori Iwamura, who is the current third baseman of the Tampa Bay Rays.

ESPN.com is reporting that the Kerry Wood deal is $4.2m plus another $3.45 possible in incentives.

That sounds...a bit high, depending on what the incentives are. You don't think they're going to put him in the rotation, do you?

*Jenkins does hit lefthanded*

Say, what's Jeromy Burnitz doing these days?

Enough with signing washed-up ex-Brewer outfielders.

That sounds…a bit high, depending on what the incentives are. You don’t think they’re going to put him in the rotation, do you?

I would guess that it has something to do with games finished, which would give essentially give him extra money for becoming the closer.

I am sure there is an appearances incentive in there also.

Chris H — November 26, 2007 @ 1:57 pm
ESPN.com is reporting that the Kerry Wood deal is $4.2m, with an additional $3.45m possible in incentives.

Hmm. That…sounds a bit pricey, depending on what the “incentives” are.

========================

CHRIS: Probably Games, Games Finished (GF), MVP, Cy Young, Rolaids Relief Award, All-Star, and LDS, LCS,and WS MVP, and the number of days on active roster. The incentive threshholds for G and GF typically increase at ten game intervals starting at 40 or 50 G or GF.

For pitchers, incentives cannot be connected to Saves, Holds, W/L, ERA, WHIP, K, etc. just like for position players, incentives cannot be connected to BA, OBP, SLG. AB, HR, RBI, SB, etc, although ASG and post-season awards, games played, games started, and PA are OK, as is time spent on active roster.

re: Allen's comment about Phil Rogers writing mere hours ago in his "whispers" section that it's unlikely the Cubs will sign Wood, you have to add that other Trib maroon Paul Sullivan in as Rogers' probable "source". Two lazy ass reporters with blimp-size egos.-- It was Sullivan who wrote a column on the 20th basically prefacing Rogers' BS.

Wood's return in doubt
Boston's interest may squeeze Cubs

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

"Fukudome will probably come at a premium. I can’t help but think we could find a better use for the money."

Dude - its gonna cost me 25% more this year for my season tickets. I say: spend, spend, spend. That is supposedly the reason for the raises...

Have they announced season ticket prices for 2008 ?

Yeah, I am sick of people talking about what the Cubs are going to pay these players. I want a winner. Most of us here seem to know what the Cubs need. Go get it. Pay for it.

I thought it was a bit much, given his injury history. That said, I hope he kicks in Cactus League as a closer, as I snatched him up in my keeper league at the end.

"with enough power to project him hitting between 25-30 home runs a year in the majors"

I guess if you count spring training and batting practice those are reasonable numbers.

Welcome back, Kerry. Now, trade Dempster, Marmol or Howry to help fix short or right and then fix short or right some other way, and we're ready for ST.

For the various people who said 'I would have rather signed him to a 2 year, $6 million deal', please add that you would rather have had Santa Claus deliver your Easter eggs than the bunny. In a FA season that saw Torri Hunter get $18 million and Scott Linebrink get $4.75 million a year. The #2 pitcher, all time in K's per 9 innings was not going to sign a 2 year contract for $6 million, coming off as well as he pitched last year.

Ooh,

Neal not calling any Cubs fans idiots for one week. While looking at the all time K/9 pitchers I clicked on a guy I had vaguely heard of, who finished 19th in the MVP votin for the AL in 1965.

The AL MVP in 1965? Zoilo Versalles

I sort of think I am dreaming this.

Zolio scorched the AL to the tune of .273 .319 .462 in 1965. That was an OPS+ of 115, which isn't too shabby for a shorstop. Of course he played exceptional defense... unless you count the 39 errors he made.

Most bizarre of all, BP gives him a 10.4 WARP1 on the year. I can't fathom how bad shorstops were in the AL in 1965 to come to those numbers.

according to Muskrat love...

Wood's contract could pay him an additional $3.45 million in performance incentives based on games finished if he does end up pitching in the ninth inning on a regular basis. The right-hander received a lot of interest, including several multi-year offers.

"Muskrat love…"

I just pictured an orgy involving Muskrat and every member of America.

Shudder.

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