The Cubs would probably like to trade Kerry Wood because of his perceived value to other teams, but an ongoing blister problem and a commitment to the Cubs would make him difficult to deal. The Cubs would probably also like to trade John Grabow because he’s almost certainly not coming back next year and isn’t helping the Cubs much this year, but declining performance and a $4.8 million contract this year would make him difficult to deal.
But, of course, the starting point to any possible deal is a team with which to consummate a deal. And in the case of these two relievers, however difficult they might be to trade, it sounds like the New York Yankees might have some interest.
Of Wood and Grabow to the Yankees, SB Nation New York had this to say:
Kerry Wood – The veteran reliever was terrific for the Yankees last season, posting a 0.69 ERA in 24 regular-season games after being acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline. The 34-year-old Wood chose to go home to Chicago as a free agent in the off season, but several reports have indicated that the Cubs, who are limping through another miserable season, would be open to trading Wood. He is pitching well, with a 2.25 ERA, and it might be worth a shot to see if he can reprise last season’s success in New York.
John Grabow – The 34-year-old veteran lefty is nothing special, but he has done one thing very well this season. He has gotten left-handed hitters out, as they are hitting just .170 against him. That is a skill the Yankee bullpen could definitely use.
As to Grabow, if the Yankees see any value in him at all, the Cubs would be more than glad to unload him for $1 million in salary relief, or a mediocre prospect. They’ll not get any more from anyone else, he’s not exactly guiding the Cubs to the playoffs this year, and he’s a free agent at the end of the season.
With respect to Wood, on the other hand, there are a number of reasons the Cubs might not consider trading him wholly unrelated to the amount he may or may not help the 2011 Cubs. He gave the team a sweetheart deal to return to his now hometown, and, unless he affirmatively wants to be traded (assuming he comes back healthy from the blister issue before too long), he won’t be. That said, if there’s any place to which I could see him accepting a trade, it’s to the Yankees, where he had so much success last year.