Kerry Wood signed a meager $1.5 million, one-year contract to come back to his team, the Chicago Cubs. It was a sweetheart deal, and demonstrated the depth of his affection for the Cubs and the city of Chicago. It came with a no-trade clause, which may be the single most deserved no-trade clause in the history of the term.

I say this first, because that set of facts will inform any and all discussions that arise over the next few months about trading Kerry Wood.

And there will be many.

As a successful, hard-throwing reliever with an immensely reasonable, one-year contract, Kerry Wood is going to be a very popular target of trade talks this rumor season. Indeed, Gordon Wittenmyer confirms that “teams consistently suggest [Wood] has the value to stir a market of bidders.”

The Cubs will undoubtedly hold discussions with other teams about Wood, but I doubt they even bring a trade to his attention for approval unless he’s already let them know that he is interested – not willing, interested – in heading out to a contender (and/or doing another favor for the Cubs).

Wood, himself, says he’s not sure what he would do if a trade came up.

“I’d have to talk to a lot more people,’’ he said. ‘‘I’d have to talk to my wife. I haven’t really even thought about it yet.”

Ok. Enough preambles. On to this particular Wood trade rumor.

The surprisingly-competitive Arizona Diamondbacks might be interested in putting together an offer for Wood. The team has made it widely known that they’re looking to add some depth to their bullpen, and they believe Wood could be their new seventh inning guy. John Gambadoro, a sports radio guy in Arizona, thinks that not only does Wood make sense for the D-Backs, but believes the team will pursue him.

Gambadoro says that the return on Wood would probably not be a top ten prospect, but more like “somebody along the lines of a 10 to 20,” which would be a nice return for half a season of Wood.

Of course, the Cubs won’t consider moving Wood until they decide they’re officially out of the race, which – especially with the Phillies, Brewers, and Yankees on deck – could happen any day.

  • TWC

    How ’bout we just give them Grabow? In return, they can send us a couple of buy-1-get-1-50%-off coupons for Great America.

    • Ace

      I know you kid, but I am hopeful that the Cubs can dump Grabow and at least save a few bucks.

      • Sam

        We could trade grabow for some new gatorade coolers. Just in case Z goes nuts again…

        • Ace

          But if Z gets traded, then we’re stuck with a bunch of extra Gatorade coolers…

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The Cubs need to keep Kerry Wood in the organization unless he wants to leave.

    • Roughriider

      Ahmen. He signed because of his desire to come back to the Cubs and the City of Chicago. He deserves to a least play out the season if he still wants too. There hasn’t been a lot of loyalty shown to clubs over the last several years and Wood is a rarety.

  • Dan0mite

    I don’t see any scenario where the Cubs trade Wood. He signed a one year $1.5 Mil dollar deal when he could have gotten plenty more elsewhere. Also, he has a no trade clause (as noted in the article) these two things plus his love for the Cubs tell me he is here for the rest of his career. I don’t think he would make that deal if he thought he would just get traded mid season. I’m sure a discussion took place before the season with Hendry or Ricketts that he was here to stay and eventually retire a Cub.

  • Michigan Goat

    I thought that when Wood signed this deal he was kind of saying, “This is it for me” if that means he will retire at year end or look to sign another hometown discount, I just don’t think he wants to be anywhere else. I hope that he retires a Cub, but I’d also like to see him win a WS and that’s not going to be here.

  • 1060Ivy

    Most teams in the hunt would want a cheap, hard throwing right-hander with playoff experience?

    Wood signed an under market value contract to be a Cub and he’s not going anywhere unless he wants to.

  • Caleb

    Wish I could give my girlfriend a half season of Wood. What? Er…

    I say no to this. Hear me out. Wood didn’t come back to the Cubs on a sweetheart deal so that he could be used as a piece to garner prospects in a mid-season trade. He came because he wants to help the Cubs win that damn championship. And, while many fans are quick to lose heart in an uninspiring (to say the least) season, I see this team as capable of contending next year, the year after, and the year after that. If this team is going to win, which if we didn’t hope that then we wouldn’t be fans, then it’s going to need solid bullpen action. We already have a guy who wants to help, is helping, and deserves to be part of the inevitable success of this team.

    In these days of the bigger, better deal we often forget that some guys are still old school. Kerry loves the Cubs and wants to be part of the team. Is it more important to put yourself on team after team trying to chase your best chance of winning the World Series or to stick with the team, organization, and city that you love?

    I bet Ron Santo could tell you the answer to that one.

    • EQ

      I agree… one bad stretch and everyone thinks the Cubs are 3-4 years away from winning.. really??? I mean, come on, we have 50 mil. coming off the books next year, a good young solid core to build on, and although they’ve had a rough start, we should have a decent pitching staff..

      With 50 mil, why can’t we be better next year? A-Ram, Fuke, Pena, Grabow, etc. off the books.. we could contend.. just a couple years ago we were good, really good.. with the right moves and signings, I don’t see why not? Especially if Larussa, Duncan & Pujols are all out of STL next year, Fielder out of Milwaukee, the division could be wide open.

      I’m not saying it will happen, but it could.. 50 mil. could net Prince Fielder, 2-3 good relievers, and a good position player or two.. not to mention what could happen on the trade front. We could improve with the situational hitting and defense with those moves alone.

      I’m sure there was no chance before the ’07 season, and we went out an won 97 games. So, having said all that, Wood should stay.

    • Ace

      “He came because he wants to help the Cubs win that damn championship.”

      Even if you’re right, it ain’t happening this year – and that’s all his deal is for. If he wants to move to a playoff contender (just for a few months) and do the Cubs a favor in the process, I say let him. But, obviously, it’s up to him.

      • Hogie

        I thought there was talk of him taking the sweetheart deal with the idea that he would get a real deal after the year. This might have been speculating by a writer, but I suppose it could still happen if he is willing to spend half a season in another city. I would really love to see Woody retire as a Cub. He is just a classy individual and I would hate to see management take advantage of his love for Chicago.

        • Ace

          You know, now that you mention it, I seem to remember that as well. But… I’m not sure how wise it would be for the Cubs to commit substantial cash in a long-term deal to a middle reliever in his mid-30s after this season. If Woody just wants to retire as a Cub and isn’t looking for big scratch, sure, maybe.

  • TWC

    Caleb, did you just say “wait ’til next year”?

    • Caleb

      I tried really hard not to.

  • Bryan

    While I agree Wood is here because that’s where he wanted to be I see no problem with entertaining the thought of trading him if KW is on board. Think about it for a minute; he’ll be a FA after this year anyway so he will be free to sign with who he wants or retire. He could, and may very well, still retire as a Cub and also help in the building of the future by allowing the trade to happen and bring a few prospects to the cubs’ farm system.

    • Ace

      Spot on. It’s totally up to Wood, but if he wants to do it, then why not?

      • Caleb

        This seems like another “what’s he thinking?” exercise. I would agree that if Wood wants to move on, to say “well, gee guys, that was fun” and move to another team, to help the Cubs by allowing a solid trade, if he’s finding the Cubs not to be the experience he wants- then yeah. I don’t have a particular problem with a trade.

        I’m just theorizing (and hoping) that he wants to stay in Chicago, wants to re-sign (note the hyphen), and wants to win as a Cub or die trying.

        One way or the other- we’ll find out!

        And Ace, I know we’ve touched on it, but when are we going to see the official rundown of the Fielder/Pujols possibility? Strengths and weaknesses of each, likelihood of Cub-conversion, impact on the team, possible costs, effects throughout the division, etc. You could probably just make a headline that said “Pujols or Fielder?” and the comments section would fill it in for you.

        I’ve been heckling my more bothersome Cardinal fan friends by planting images of the Cubs in a World Series 5-peat, then retiring #5 Albert Pujols in the outfield, followed by his name and jersey going to the HoF in Cubby Blue. It’s far-fetched, I admit, but the image is shocking enough to distract Cardinal fans long enough to escape their harassment over comparing our W-L records.

        • TWC

          You have friends who are Cardinals fans? What the hell is wrong with you?

        • Ace

          It’s definitely coming, but probably not until a fair bit later in the season. I’d like to have a bit more data – both on the players and the Cubs’ situation – and so much can happen in the next few months. I’m thinking it’s a September/October discussion. That said, there will probably be a place here to facilitate that discussion much sooner; i.e., before I get around to writing about it (ooh, teaser!).

          • Hessy

            So true. Honesty and ervetyihng recognized.

  • Ian Afterbirth

    If Wood is ok with being traded that would be great, but it’s Hendry who’ll be doing the deal. What do you think he’s capable of pulling off?

    • Ace

      He’s almost never been good at this kind of deal.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Exactly! And then, whether or not he has Wood’s blessing for a trade, he pisses off the fans. Again.

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