Torches, pitchforks, et cetera, down.
Today the Chicago Cubs officially re-inked reliever and veteran presence Kerry Wood – probably to a significant raise over the $1.5 million he made last year with the team. As many of us expected, the team saved the announcement for the Cubs Convention, and there was much ooh’ing and ahh’ing.
Wood, 34, threw 51 innings for the Cubs last year, striking out 57, and putting up a 3.35 ERA and a 1.294 WHIP. But Wood’s re-signing, which was always something closer to an inevitability than a surprise, is as much about his leadership and knowledge as it as about his ability on the mound. And, let’s be honest: it’s also about satisfying fans who feel attached to Wood. Many of us enjoy cheering for Wood.
For me, the best part of the news is ability of young Cubs pitchers to continue learning from one of the best. Wood can show them how to handle themselves on a day-to-day basis, how to approach certain hitters, and, heck, how to throw Mariano Rivera’s cutter.
Update: Sounds like the deal is $3 million for 2012 with a club option for 2013.