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For a couple weeks now, the drumbeat grew out of the Kerry Wood camp that a deal wasn’t going to get done to bring back the reliever to the Cubs, despite his earlier comment that’d either pitch for the Cubs in 2012 or retire. It reached a pitch earlier this week when Dave Kaplan reported that Wood was unlikely to return to the Cubs next year. Regardless of Wood’s direct impact on the competitiveness of the 2012 Cubs, he’s a valuable veteran presence, and, frankly, a guy who’s nice to cheer for. The drumbeat was a bit of a bummer.

Many of us were cynical. It felt awfully convenient that the Cubs couldn’t seem to come to an agreement with Wood when there wasn’t yet a roster spot for him – the week of the Cubs Convention, no less. It was fair to wonder if Wood was merely trying to get a little extra coin out of the Cubs, and if the Cubs were trying to get a little extra positive PR this weekend.

Maybe we were right. Jon Morosi reports that a source tells him the Cubs and Wood are “nearing a one-year deal with an option for 2013.” That sounds about right.

Earlier today, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein told the media that if the two sides couldn’t work something out given their mutual interest, something is wrong. It sounds like Epstein already knew things were looking like they were going to happen.

Even if the two sides finalize a deal, I wouldn’t expect it to be announced officially until, oh, say, Friday evening at the Chicago Hilton.

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