Kerry Wood

It was hinted at on twitter last night that big Cubs news was coming today and news did come.

Paul Goldschmidt blasted a grand slam home run, Henry Blanco and Alfredo Marte slugged solo shots, and Ian Kennedy threw four shutout innings, as the Arizona Diamondbacks coasted to an 12-2 victory over a split squad of Cubs in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

Dustin Ackley smashed a three-run home run to cap a four-run 5th inning, and Guillermo Quiroz cracked a two-run HR to finish the scoring in the 9th, as the Seattle Mariners drubbed the Cubs 10-3 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in cool & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.


MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports that the Yankees have claimed RHP Brian Schlitter off waivers. The 25-year old Schlitter was dropped from the Cubs 40-man roster to make room for recently-signed free-agent Kerry Wood.


Schlitter will be reunited with former Cub (and current Yankee) Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild in New York. It's very possible that Rothschild recommended Schlitter to the Yankees, or at least was consulted before the Yankees made the claim.


A Chicagoland native, Schlitter was born in Oak Park, and attended Maine South HS in Park Ridge. He was selected by the Phillies in the 16th round of the 2007 Rule 4 Draft out of the College of Charleston, and was acquired by the Cubs from the Phillies for LHP Scott Eyre in August 2008.


Schlitter was the Iowa Cubs closer the first half of the 2010 season, and went a combined 2-1 with 13 Saves and a 3.15 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and 21/42 BB/K in 45.2 IP (37 Games) over two AAA tours in 2010. He made his MLB debut this past June, going 0-1 with a 12.38 ERA and 2.88 WHIP with 5/7 BB/K in 8.0 IP (7 Games) with the Cubs. He was placed on the 15-day DL for three weeks in July with a "right shoulder impingement," and was optioned to Iowa on August 5th. He was placed on the Iowa Cubs Disabled List with recurring shoulder soreness on August 25th, and was not recalled when MLB Active Lists expanded in September. He was healthy enough to pitch in winter ball for Los Senadores de San Juan in the Puerto Rico Baseball League last month, however, putting up a 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in four PRBL games.


The MLB office was closed from December 24th through January 2nd because of the NYC snowstorm (the office ordinarily would have been open Monday through Thursday between the recent Christmas and New Year's holidays), so clubs who would normally have had to make roster moves involving waivers last week were given an extension that ended today. That's why Joe Martinez (Designated for Assignment by the Pirates on 12-22-2010) and Wil Ledezma (DFA'd by the Pirates on 12-23-2010) did not need to be traded or outrighted until today's deadline, and that's why the Cubs were able to wait until this week to make a move to open up a roster slot for Kerry Wood.

-- The I-Cubs' Andrew Cashner was named PCL Pitcher of the Week. That's what winning two starts while allowing one run and just eight hits over 13 innings will do for you. And let's not forget: he won the second of those games while dealing with the pressure of having TCR's very own Mike Wellman in the stands.

-- The Giants fan site, 22gigantes, pointed me to an mlb.com article in which the 30 MLB clubs were ranked for drafting success, based on All-Star appearances, Cy Young Awards, etc., won by their draftees in recent years. Cub draftees earned six such awards—four All-Star appearances plus ROY Awards for Kerry Wood and Geovany Soto—which tied the team for 11th place with the Giants, Marlins, and Cardinals.

Mark DeRosa drove in four runs with two long home runs and a sacrifice fly and scored another run after reaching base on a double, as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Cubs 7-5 before 13,097 fans at sunny and breezy Dwight Patterson Field at Ho Ho Kam Park in Mesa this afternoon.

box score

I recently purchased a copy of the Bill James Handbook 2009...I know, a little late to the party...but it does a great job of presenting information that isn't readily available, information I'll pass along as they become relevant throughout the season. I'm also going to get a subscription to BillJames.net to update everyone as the season progresses.

But thumbing through the book they have all kinds of stats on relievers and let's see if any of it will help Lou pick his closer on the year.

Join us for a little pre-preseason debachuary tonight and a final farewell to Kid K in parachat. Plus the Oscars are tonight, so we can pull double duty talking about the red carpet (ZOMG, did you see what Kate Winselt was wearing?)

You have three viewing options, either you own the Chicago Cubs DVD set, Itunes for $2(search for Kerry Wood or a series called Baseball's Best) or Mlb.com(It's the Houston broadcast and you have to register and possibly been a past owner of MLB.tv). Game time is 9pm CST. With no commercials it shouldn't run more than two hours I believe and Transmission should be doing a parachat recap for tomorrow. Maybe this time we can get Kevin Orie to make the play.

Some quick notes from Mesa after the jump...

Rich Harden was all the news yesterday even though there was nothing new going on. Harden was newsworthy because he's starting the spring camp with long toss rather than work off the mound like the other pitchers. He's been on an off-season strengthening program for an achy-breaky shoulder that everyone in Cubs camp is still struggling to label. It's kind of like having a family member with a psychiatric diagnosis in the 1950's. Nobody wants to label the poor fella because of the stigma and gossip. Sun-Times beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer, in his blog, was irked that once again there was misinformation delivered this off-season regarding what the diagnosis of Harden's shoulder issues are.

Can anybody tell me what the advantage is in omitting those details and being vague about these things? It's not like the Cubs have to protect the information for the purposes of shopping Harden or for any on-the-field competitive reasons (scouts have eyes).

I've covered three other teams in my career, and the ones that were most up front about these kinds of things had the fewest headaches with the way the information got out. And the fans stayed well informed, without the yo-yo effect.

Kerry Wood passed his physical with the Cleveland Indians and has signed a 2-year/$20 million contract with an option for a third year based on "a vesting mechanism."

As reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer...

Wood, 6-5, 211 pounds, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife
Sarah and their two children. It's believed that the Indians moving
their spring training facility from Winter Haven, Fla., to Goodyear,
Ariz., this year played a part in Wood coming to Cleveland.


GM Mark Shapiro also added right-hander Joe Smith earlier this week
at the winter meetings to pitch in front of Wood in the pen. Smith was
acquired in a three-team, 12-player trade with the Mets and Mariners.


"The signing of Kerry Wood brings to the Cleveland Indians a
powerful presence in the back of our bullpen and in our clubhouse,"
Shapiro said. "Kerry fills our need for a closer and fits our team's
culture perfectly as he is a dominant talent and an outstanding
teammate and person."

Tags: 

Link.

So trading Jose Ceda because the Cubs were going to get two draft picks for Wood doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

MLB clubs have until Monday (December 1st) to decide whether to offer salary arbitration to their Type "A" and Type"B" free-agents. 

On the heels of the Cubs acquiring Kevin Gregg, reader "jacos" heard on WSCR that Jim Hendry has said that Kerry Wood is pretty likely to have played his last game as a Cub.

Wood wanted a three year guaranteed deal and the Cubs, skeptical of his injury history, don't feel he's worth that much risk. We'll see what the open market has to offer, but someone will take a chance on his talent. You can't blame either side on their positions in my opinion. The Cubs were burned for years expecting Kerry and Prior and others to be healthy, that it's understandable of their more cautious approach. Kerry though had a very good season, really didn't have any arm issues last year besides a blister and after living off a few one year deals, he has every right to look for some security.

I don't think the book is closed, but we're on the last paragraph. Or maybe I'm just reading the appendix now.

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