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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.

  • Chef

    I am satisfied.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Big neat.

  • clark addison

    Welcome back, Kerry. You da man.

  • Jon

    Would have been awkward at the charity event tonight if he wasn’t signed

  • Toosh

    Who’s off the 40 man roster?

    • Zach

      Hopefully its Marcos Mateo.

  • Vic

    I am very happy with this signing. Seeing Woody pitch in two different uniforms was enough. Hope he closes out his career wearing a Cubs jersey, and stays involved w/ the organization for years to come!

  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    Please tell me there’s a video! I can’t even imagine what the roar sounded like.

    • Katie

      They had Opening Ceremonies live on Comcast Sports. It was awfully cool to hear the roar.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Wife recorded one. Will have up at some point.

  • aCubsFan

    He’s not worth the $3MM better hope he can stay healthy the whole year. Oh yeah, that’s not likely to happen since there hasn’t be one year in his career he hasn’t been on the DL.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Debbie Downer Alert.

      • Rick Vaughn

        “Oh yeah, that’s not likely to happen since there hasn’t be one year in his career he hasn’t been on the DL.”

        I don’t know who Negative Nancy reminds me of here. Someone I work with maybe. Generic 12 year old. Can’t put my finger on it. But I do know that I probably hate him/her. And that’s coming from a peace/love/understanding type hippie.

        • Tommy

          Vaughn – As usual, you entertain and delight!

          • T C

            you might even say he….makes your heart sing?

    • homey

      he is one of the few contracts on the team that are worth it

    • Tommy

      aCubsFan (and I use that term loosely) – Hey, thanks for the input Cherry Chesterton!

    • pfk

      What a sick comment. Any player is worth whatever anyone is willing to pay them. And Woody? He’s worth far beyond money. You aren’t a Cubs fan, so you wouldn’t know that.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      Hey Acubsfan,
      Give it a rest. Let us enjoy the moment!

  • a_mazz_ing

    “it’s also about satisfying fans who feel attached to Wood. Many of us enjoy cheering for Wood.”

    That’s what she said.

    But on a serious note, glad to have Kerry back!!

  • cubmig

    Theo&Co, you did the right thing.

  • Ashley

    Good move, glad Kerry is back!

    • Cheryl

      Again, good move. If there is any player who is identified with the cubs its Kerry Wood. Good to have him back.

  • Cubsin

    Brett, I’m sure you’ll let us know who was removed from the roster to make room for Kerry as soon as you know. FWIW, my guess is Rule 5 draftee Lendy Castillo.

    Keep up the fine work, and enjoy the Convention!

     

    • kubphan82

      Cabrera has to be on the shortlist for consideration… He has one pitch and doesn’t throw that consistently, perhaps he’s the most expendable…

      • BetterNews

        What about John Gaub?

        • Tommy

          Who is John Galt?

          • BetterNews

            Don’t know. I said John Gaub the left handed pitcher.

          • Toosh

            Wasn’t he a character in “Atlas Shrugged”?

            • Tommy

              ding ding ding ding ding

  • pfk

    You mentioned you flew in. Where do you live? I thought you lived in Chicago.

  • coal

    “Cubs brass parades Wood around Cubs Convention”

    “Cubs to unveil Wood at Friday night party”

    “Keeping Wood was hard, but worth it in the end”

    “Cubs fans react positively to getting Wood”

    [sorry, it's been a long week]

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Hahahaha.

    • Caleb

      Thanks coal- I was scanning the comments to see if anyone caught the “we all love cheering for wood” comment. Brett acts all lawyerly, but he knows what he’s typing. Good one, Brett.

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        A true wordsmith!
        Very cool.

  • ty

    Kerry can still bring it! Cub fans are appreciative!

  • cubsnivy56

    Kid K is worth every penny to true Cubs fans!

  • OHBearCub

    Maybe if he stays really healthy and doesn’t get any blisters he can be our real closer instead of Marmol. Put Marmol back at setup man where he did an okay job with less pressure. Besides this year there probably won’t be that many save opportunities to be honest and it won’t be a wear and tear on Kerry to handle those duties. If he let’s his goatee grow out like ZZ Top length okay not that long but like Billy Goat Long. It might be the cure to the Billy Goat curse. We need a pitcher with a Billy Goatee as our closer. maybe all the pitchers on the team grow them this year and that get it done. Our team of guys that most people never heard of could go all the way and win the World Series because of the Billy Goatee’s. Stranger things have happened in this world.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      You’ve got to watch having so much of that blue Cubbie koolaid.
      It is potent, and obviously you have overindulged, but I feel it.

    • hardtop

      Nag, hes still trying to beat guys with his fastball, which isn’t what it used to be. I love Kerry but I feel he’s a little stubborn when it comes to his stuff. As much as our young pitchers will benefit from his presence Kerry can still benefit from a solid coaching staff who can handle vets and still get their point across.

  • truebluecubbie

    This makes me very happy. He is worth every penny for his leadership abilities alone.

  • deej

    Welp – Kuroda and Pineda to the Yankees… I think it’s safe to say they are OUT of the Garza talks….

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/01/yankees-agree-to-terms-with-hiroki-kuroda.html

    • Robbo

      Agreed, the Yanks are almost certainly out on Garza now but this could create interest in Soriano since Montero was expected to be the Yanks DH this year.

      • Oswego Chris

        the Yankees DH is going to be Pena….and don’t rule out Fielder….

        • Robbo

          True, you can never rule any option out for the Yankees and Fielder is still available. Although if funds are limited now after the Kuroda signing Fonzi could be a much cheaper option (Assuming Cubs would eat most of his salary) than Pena or Fielder and he already has experience in a Yankees uniform.

        • ferrets_bueller

          There is slim to no chance of the Yankees going after Fielder.  Why?  Because they already have their DH of the future- Arod.  Pena would be my first guess for next season, allowing the Yankees to get a better look at Nunez, and decide if he’s their 3B of the future.  If they dont like what they see, look for them to go after a guy like Headley or possibly Wright.  But in no way are they going to lock themselves into a longterm DH, as they already have one in a year or two in Arod.

  • Cubsin

    The Yankees’ beefed-up rotation may also encourage Detroit, Boston, Toronto and perhaps Texas that they need to increase their offers for Garza.

    • deej

      very true

    • JasonB

      Good call

  • coal

    I always thought Cashman and Theo would have a tough time getting anything done anyway given their history.

  • al

    The only reason Kerry Wood got a contract is because Starlin Castro screwed up big time and there had to be a feel good for the Cubs Convention to take the heat off.

    Kerry Wood will not be on a Chicago National League Baseball Club Championship team.

    But the pretty girls will attend games, and the Mexican restaurants will serve us, and the cabbies will take us to your place/my place.

    Another great season.

    • Tommy

      Yeah, that’s the ONLY reason they signed Kerry Wood.   But hey, keep up the positive vibes man.  I’ll bet everyone wants to party with you!

  • al

    Tell me how Kerry Wood brings a championship to the Cubs.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Where have you been?

      The Cubs are rebuilding.

      • al

        Rebuilding? Since when? The last Championship? I’ve noticed.

        • Rick Vaughn

          “Rebuilding? Since when? The last Championship? I’ve noticed.”

          HAHAHA, very clever!! I remember the first time I heard that joke, before the other 1500 times I’ve heard someone say it in the last few months. I’m rolling on the floor right now laughing.

          God damn dude, if you got nothing to contribute but negativity, why bother pretending to be a fan? This team has struggled in the 20 years I’ve been a fan, but I’ve witnessed some great moments too. Fall of 2003 in college was a blast!  I’d gladly trade another 10 years of hitting and slightly or completely missing the playoffs just to experience another exciting NLCS like 2003, even if we lose it again. If all you care about are championships, and you can’t seem to appreciate the little joys that come with being a die hard fan, then there is a team in New York that you would absolutely love cheering for.

          For everyone else – I know I’m not supposed to poke at the trolls, but I’m in a pissy mood and feel like running my mouth a little.

    • Rick Vaughn

      The same way Ryan Theriot just did for the Cardinals. By being signed by a team that wins the world series.

      Lighten up princess. Why is it that every single person I’ve ever known named Al was either a miserable pain in the ass, or a cross-dresser, or both? Weird, right?

      Seriously though, he’s a good value at 3 million, get off his back.

      • Tommy

        ROFL!  ohhh shit.  Best one yet, Vaughn!

      • al

        Wood can not help the Cubs win a Championship.

        His value is to be traded before he hits the DL, which could be anytime in spring training.

        • JasonB

          What roster are you looking at?

          Because the roster I’m looking at doesn’t have championship written on it regardless of where Kerry Wood is pitching next year.  Take a freaking Xanex and relax.

          • al

            What is your point? The Cubs suck but they have Kerry Wood?

            • JasonB

              Well, I would make the point that you’re an idiot and a bitter, hateful person but I think you’ve proven that more in the last 15 minutes than I ever could.

              My point, in the event that you can actually read and comprehend English, is this – the Cubs will not be a good team next year and they can’t sign enough players to make them a good team next year because they don’t have enough money.  Accept that, and you may actually find some form of content in what appears to be an otherwise miserable existence.

              • al

                The Cubs have been an awful team for my entire life. I missed the 1945 series with Detroit.

                Yet, there are pretty girls at the game, Mexican restaurants in the area, and cabs to take us home.

                I am not bitter in the least. Indeed, I can not wait for Opening Day!

        • Rick Vaughn

          I think with 99% of other players, you’re absolutely right. But not with Wood. His value to the organization and especially the fans greatly outweighs anything we’d get in a trade for him. He’s the favorite current player of most fans (I would bet over 80% of fans). He’s our Derek Jeter. Even if he spends the entire year on the DL, it’s better than watching him sitting on the Yankees DL.

          You keep talking about winning championships like this team is being built to do it in 2012. A little secret; it’s not. Having Wood in the bullpen only makes this team stronger. Gives the fans some familiarity and gives a strong veteran leader on the roster.

          Got HeeEeeM!

          • al

            If you think Wood can help win a World Series, fine. I do not agree.

            Theo jettisoned Maddox and Sandburg in a blink. If Castro did not screw up Wood would be looking for a job. It is a feel-food Go Cubs Go BS convention move.

            It has nothing to do with winning the World Series.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              What did Castro do?

              As far as I know he has only been accused of a crime.

              If this is all you have to say then go root for the Yankees.

              By the way Maddux left on his own for the Rangers. Theo and Jed obviously aren’t the only ones who skipped over Ryno, and Ryne left when Hendry was in control.

              • Rick Vaughn

                Bingo

                • JulioZuleta

                  He’s reached the status of no-longer warranting a response.

              • al

                There is a new boss in Cub Town. What did Theo say about Sandburg? What did he say about Maddox?

                A couple of million sop for a feel good Kerry Wood contract takes the pressure off Starlin Castro.

                These guys are brutal and ruthless. I am expecting a winner.

                • JulioZuleta

                  Such a big Cub fan that you can’t correctly spell the last names of two of the most popular Cubs players of all time? By the way, Starlin Castro was introduced before the Wood signing was announced, and got a HUGE ovation. They’ve gone about this offseason in the correct way. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

                  • al

                    Of course, winners all. Hey! Go Cubs Go! What do you say?

                  • Katie

                    I was just getting ready to type the same thing about the spelling of their names. Terrible.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      In addition to Sanburg and Maddox, I liked Benks, Willyamz, Santow, Jaynkens, Grayce, Sowsa… and Dick Tidrow

                    • TWC

                      Dick Tidrow is so tough, you can’t even spell his name incorrectly.

    • JasonB

      How about this?  He helps the Cubs win a championship by showing young pitchers how to prepare to play, how to approach the game the right way, and how to pitch more effectively.

      Does that mean that it will happen in 2012?  Nope – but young pitchers need mentors and at this stage of his career, Woody is a good one.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Even if he wasn’t a strong leader, 3 million for a solid setup man is a pretty good deal. Especially considering how much our closer struggled last year. If Marmol can’t be useful, we’ll have a solid closer in Wood at just 3 million. The leadership potential and good teammate reputation is just some icing on the cake. I don’t understand the negativity around this deal.

        • al

          How does he help to win a Championship?

          • Rick Vaughn

            Pixie dust and magic spells. Accept it and move on.

            • BetterNews

              Rick–I like Wood but there is no way in hell he is worth 3 mil! That comes out to $60,000 per inning pitched if he pitches 50 innings next year. This deal is insane!

              • Kansas Cubs Fan

                Maybe not on the mound alone, but in the dugout and clubhouse he picks up the slack.

                • BetterNews

                  Like I said, I like Wood as a person and he still has ability and I will not “crap” on him. If the organization wants to pay him that kind of money so be it.

                  • Rick Vaughn

                    I’m willing to bet Wood almost pays for himself through ticket sales and merchandise. He’s a big draw for this team. Just watch the video from the convention Brett posted when they announced his signing. The guy is the Chicago Cubs right now. There isn’t a lot going on right now as far as excitement for the casual fans. He at least gives them something.

                    Plus, it’s better than seeing them pocket the money.

                    • BetterNews

                      I see your point for sure, and the money isn’t coming out of my pocket.(Or is it?)

                    • al

                      “I’m willing to bet Wood almost pays for himself through ticket sales…”

                      What fan would pay for the chance to see a set-up man pitch an inning?

          • Tommy

            Hey genius, maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but we haven’t won a championship in 103 year.  If that’s all you’re concerned with, maybe you should go root for another team and quit your bitchin’ here.

             

          • Brian Myers

            Well, he’s better than the majority of the relievers not only on the Cubs, but frankly better than the majority of non-closers in baseball… and the Cubs got him at a bargain. The rest (experience, etc) is just a bonus.

  • Kyle

    I’ll always remember being a kid in 1998, seeing this guy pitch, and thinking “This guy will be a pitcher on the next Cubs World Series team.”

    As long as that’s still theoretically possible, a little part of me is happy.

    • JulioZuleta

      Yeah, he definitely is The Cubs of my generation. No one else has stayed around long enough/ been enough of a producer/good enough guy to qualify. He’ll be with the organization forever.

  • Oswego Chris

    Kerry Wood is what is right about baseball…its not his fault he was ridden into the ground by every coach he had from little league to Dusty….he has sacrificed bigger money now 3 times to be a Cub….Cub fans have honored and worshipped far less deserving players than him…they did the right thing here….

    and another thing, the Mariners might have made one of the stupidest trades in baseball history tonight….got to hand it to the Yankees, they sell their prospects high, eventhough odds say this Montero guy has a chance to be a flop…

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Right on O.C. Agree on both ends.

    • JasonB

      I don’t know – the Ms just sent a flyball pitcher without a changeup to a lefty hitter’s paradise – they certainly didn’t do Pineda any favors.

      And of course, I also think Montero will be a beast.  .300/30 HR hitters don’t grow on trees outside of the Steroid Era and they can play anywhere.

    • Kyle

      This.

      I’ve beaten the “athletes aren’t generally good people” drum plenty of times, but I can’t think of anything Wood has done except keep his nose clean and do his job.

      And my goodness, was his arm abused, like you said right from little league. He was damaged goods when he came to the Cubs.

  • die hard

    does Wood have no trade rights….he could be gone at All-Star break if Cubs as expected will have at best 25 wins then

    • Tommy

      …to match your I.Q.

    • Rick Vaughn

      I doubt Wood would have signed without a no-trade clause. Maybe that’s what was holding up the deal. I’m sure the details will come out soon.

      • JulioZuleta

        I REALLY don;t think Theo would consider trading Kerry. If the Cubs were doing awfully, and a team approached the Cubs, I could see Theo asking, “Hey Kerry, the Yankees are legitimate World Series contenders, do you want me to trade you there?”
        On second thought, it’d be pretty sweet if the Cubs kept signing Kerry to 1 year deals, trading him at the break for a decent prospect, and then resigned him the following season. Repeat.

  • KB

    Even a rebuilding team has to throw a bone or two to the fans now and then. If the going rate for WAR is about $4 Mil per win, then, true, Kerry hasn’t been worth $3 Mil the last few years. However, he’s perfectly capable of unleashing a good season in 2012. Besides, I agree with Our Dear Leader on this one; he has significant value as the bullpen sage/ fan favorite.

    I’ve always loved watching Kerry pitch. What Cub fan doesn’t?

  • HoustonTransplant

    You can be a shrewd businessman most of the time, but baseball players ARE people, and that’s something that came straight from our president’s mouth.  Build to win a championship, but every now and again, throw the fans and your most loyal man on the team a bone…that’s what this deal was about.

    There’s not much to be excited about this year, aside from young kids who hustle and might over perform.  It will be nice to see a familiar face in Wood.  Some of you are just whining to hear yourself make noise.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      ” Some of you are just whining to hear yourself make noise.”

      Quote of the day.

  • NL_Cubs

    Not only was Kerry Wood the last player introduced at CubsCon and as “Breaking News”, it gave all those younger and new Cubs players an opportunity to see just how popular Kid-K is and how passionate Cubs fans are. KW’s leadership role and respect among the newer players was showcased tonight!

    The best applause and loudest cheers were for the familiar players who have played hard day in and out.  As the new “Cubs Way” takes hold and more players who know how to play the game right are added to the organization, us Cubs fans will have plenty to start cheering about in a couple years.

  • barroof

    Must have missed this last nite. I guess you can say I woke up with morning Wood. Good to see him back. Kerry I mean.

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