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    Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    As expected, right-hander Kerry Wood formally filed for free agency on Monday.

    The question is, will Wood return to Chicago in 2008 or sign elsewhere?

    The Cubs have indicated that they would like to keep Wood, who went 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances in 2007 after getting a late start while recovering from shoulder surgery.

    A starter for all but 11 of his 189 career games entering the 2007 season, Wood made a successful adjustment to pitching out of the bullpen and contributed to the Cubs' rise to the top of the National League Central.

    Wood, who turns 31 next June, can exclusively negotiate with the Cubs until Nov. 12. If no deal is reached by then, he would also be free to talk to the other teams in the league.

    On Nov. 12 of last year, the Cubs signed Wood to a one-year, $1.75 million contract following a 2006 season in which he had appeared in just four games.

    Wood was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 1998, but he missed all of 1999 following elbow surgery and has battled shoulder problems since 2004. He did pitch in relief in 2005, but he needed arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder in August that year.

    Wood, who served in a setup capacity this year, represents a key piece of the Cubs' 2008 roster puzzle. If he returns, he might be given a shot at closing, which would enable the Cubs to slide Ryan Dempster into the rotation. Or Wood could be re-signed with an eye toward keeping him in a setup role.
    All of these are among the decisions facing the Cubs and general manager Jim Hendry this winter. And now that Wood has officially filed, the clock is ticking on that decision.

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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Part of me feels like he owes the cubs for all those years we paid him and he didn't do crap. I'm sort of appalled that he's filing for free agency... on the other had, I'd sort of be glad to see him go. That's a lot of money for someone that you can't really count on. I'm sure he'll be just another ex cubs that goes on to win a world title somewhere else....



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!


    As one of many Cubs fans who were photographed weeping during the last game of the National League Division Series out on Waveland Avenue, I was wondering if the Cubs have plans on looking at pitchers this offseason? And if so, who might be the hot commodity?
    -- Matthew B., Des Moines, Iowa

    If I had to list items on the Cubs' wish list this offseason, it would be a left-handed power hitter and another starting pitcher. Let's see who's available. Players have two weeks after the World Series ends to file for free agency. And, Matthew, there's no crying in baseball.
    I just like the last line!


    "You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace." -- Ernie Banks



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Despite all of the ups and downs of his career, I truly hope that he re-signs with the Cubs. I thought he performed very well out of the bullpen this last season and like the idea of Woodie and Marmol in the 8th and 9th innings.



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    I feel pretty good that he'll be back.

    One can't really blame the guy for doing all he can, to get what he can. The freeagent move is just another bullet in the gun. I don't know that it means all that much in regards to Kerry's intentions.

    The biggest question is will Wood be content in the bullpen, or does he want to start again? And what will be the willingness of the Cubs or any other club to allow him to do that?



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Quote Originally Posted by CloneCubbie View Post
    Part of me feels like he owes the cubs for all those years we paid him and he didn't do crap.
    I understand where you're coming from, but I guess that is the business of professional baseball. He certainly has made great efforts to come back from his injuries and I really want him on the team next year. I think he'd be great as a closer and he can even hit!!


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    In order to have a quality team that can really win the postseason you need to have 3 REALLY good relievers (including the closer)

    Look at Boston- Okajima, DelCarmen and Papelbon

    I thought Wood looked pretty good towards the end of this year. If the Cubs had:

    Wood, Marmol, Dempster and Kevin Hart pitches like he did in the little action he saw those 3-4 guys could be key to next year

    Without Wood they might need to go pick up someone else



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Who cares, the guy is always hurt and when he actually does pitch it is only for 3 games before he gets hurt again.


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    I kinda like going and watching him in his yearly trip to Des Moines. The guy has/had so much talent, it sucks he keeps getting hurt. It also hurts his pocketbook. He went from making like $12 million per year down to $1.75 million this year.

    Side note: What's the news on Prior?



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    The Cubs will be in deep trouble if they leave spring training expecting Wood to be their everyday closer.


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Wood will sign elsewhere and immediately become a Cy Young winner.


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    Wood will sign elsewhere and immediately become a Cy Young winner.
    I wonder if the White Sox will go after him? Although the relievers that had Cub ties that the White Sox had in their pen this year just $ucked (Sisco, Aardsma)!!!!

    I bet the White Sox will look at him closely though...not sure Wood would sign on the South Side...unless it was his biggest offer?



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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Just to add, Jason Kendall filed for free agency. He earned 13 million last season in his last year of a six year, 60 million dollar contract that he signed with the Pirates.


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    I'm all for resigning Wood if the price is right. I think you can't overpay a guy that still did not pitch nearly 3/4 of this past season too if you think about it. And for Wood's sake I hope he sticks to pitching out of the pen at least 1 more season before trying to start again. Look at what it did for Smoltz. I think he needs to prove he can stay healthy for a full season before you move him back to a starter.

    I'm really curious to see what happens with Prior. If they offer him arbitration I think you can only give him a 20% decrease right? Is he worth around $2.8 mil to see if he can get back to being healthy or not?

    And I find it funny how Baker has already talked with Wood. If I'm Kerry there is no way in hell I pitch for the guy that helped mess up my arm by over-working him in 2003.


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    Re: Wood Files. Bye Bye Chi-town!

    Quote Originally Posted by travman23 View Post
    And I find it funny how Baker has already talked with Wood. If I'm Kerry there is no way in hell I pitch for the guy that helped mess up my arm by over-working him in 2003.
    Kerry's problems started way before Baker showed up on the scene.

    However, more than Baker - I'm still scared to death with the idea that Rothschild is still running the staff on the north side.



    Over the past 5-7+ years, has any other team had remotely the same arm problems that the Cubs have? He was the first one I wanted out the door with Dusty, and he's pretty close to the only one still on board.



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