Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood may be the missing link to a young and improving bullpen on the north side of Chicago. A source familiar with the situation said Wood would be welcomed back to the Cubs organization if general manager Jim Hendry has enough money in the offseason to be able to sign Wood and add the other dimensions to become a contender.
The Cubs’ need three major elements to contend for the NL Central in 2011 are a left-handed RBI bat, starting pitcher and a shutdown seventh-inning or eighth-inning bullpen man. ESPN Chicago.
A left-handed RBI bat, a starting pitcher, and a shut-down late-inning reliever? Sound familiar? It’s the Cubs’ group of needs every off-season for the last five years.
As we’ve discussed, Wood was dominant in his half-season with the Yankees after being mediocre with the Indians. He’ll likely search out a closing opportunity before settling on a set-up role, but you’ve got to believe that, if he does settle for a set-up role, the Cubs will be near the top of his list. Chicago is now the Wood family’s year-round home, and you’ll recall that Wood was not particularly interested in leaving the Cubs the first time around – he wanted to accept arbitration and stay on a one-year deal, but was encouraged to go get a multi-year deal elsewhere.