Quantcast

travis wood beardAccording to multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs today avoided arbitration with lefty Travis Wood, signing a one-year, $3.9 million agreement. Wood had requested $4.25 million and the Cubs offered $3.5 million, meaning that they settled just above the midpoint.

Wood, who turns 27 next month, was eligible for arbitration for the first time, and is coming off a productive year in the Cubs’ rotation. I know, “productive” probably sounds like an insult for a guy who was near the league leaders in quality starts and put up a 3.11 ERA over 200 innings pitched. And he was an All-Star!

I won’t say outstanding only because some of his peripherals (6.5 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 6.9 HR/FB%, 14.2% IFFB) suggest he may have underperformed that 3.11 ERA slightly. His FIP was just 3.89, and his xFIP was 4.50. Still, Wood was a valuable pitcher, posting a 2.8 WAR for near the league minimum.

The $3.9 million salary is just about what you’d expect for someone like Wood in his first year of arbitration. With another successful year, he’ll get another healthy bump. If the Cubs want some cost control and certainty, some kind of medium-term extension (three years or so) should probably be explored.

The Cubs’ remaining arbitration cases (with requested/offered amounts): Jeff Samardzija ($6.2M/$4.4M), Darwin Barney ($2.8M/$1.8M, and Justin Ruggiano ($2.45M/$1.6M).

  • When The Musics Over

    He’s getting expensive—>Time to trade him

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Ha. Ha.

      Fart.

      • When The Musics Over

        In all seriousness, if this year goes poorly, he’s again pitching above his peripherals mid-season and there is a hottish market for him, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him moved.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          In all seriousness, ditto. I like Wood plenty (that’ll get quoted), but we have to be realistic about the possibility of considerable regression.

          • On The Farm

            The Cubs don’t need him to repeat this season’s performance, just have a first half like he did last year and the playoff contenders will come begging. The question is, will this be the third year in a row the Cubs have 2 of the top 4(or 5) SP available on the trade market?

            • blublud

              At what point do we realize Wood is Wood. He has never had great peripherals, and probably has always out pitched those peripherals, but he is still a good pitcher. He is probably not a consistent low 3 ERA guy, and probably not a consistent mid to high 4 ERA pitcher. He probably somewhere in between and to me, that’s a valuable pitcher who will always keep his team in a game.

        • EQ76

          what would be super-cool is for the Cubs to continue to trade anyone of value each and every year for more prospects… maybe Baez and Bryant can be on the move in 2018 for more prospects! we could have the all time best farm system in the history of baseball! Who needs a decent line up or rotation?

          • mjhurdle

            so in your opinion, if the Cubs thought that Wood had reached his peak and was going to have major regression over the next 2 years, you would prefer that they keep him anyway as opposed to trade him when his value is highest and you could get a really good return?

            • EQ76

              no, I’m just sick of the non stop flipping of players attitude everyone has..I totally understand trading a player at high peak value for a great return but at some point you have to stop doing that and start trying to win.

              We have no idea if Wood will regress or not, nobody does, and he is still young and technically not to his peak years yet. Shoot, he may keep getting better! What this team severely lacks, is quality starting pitching.. many on this forum seem thrilled to see Shark get traded and now Wood too?? At some point this team needs to actually KEEP a couple of players and try to win more than 65 games in a season. I know 2014 is a punt season, but we need players in 2015 also.

              • When The Musics Over

                I don’t want the Cubs to trade him. It just wouldn’t surprise me.

              • Norm

                What players have been flipped that you wish were still here?

                • EQ76

                  I’m talking about not flipping Wood at this time.. that’s all.. I’m not against the moves that they have made.. I still think the Maholm flip will work out for us when Vizcaino starts pitching.. The Marshall, Cashner, Feldman, Garza and Demp trades seem to have been great moves.. You guys are assuming way too much in my comments.

                  I’m saying that at some point soon, we need to quit being the Chicago Flippable Assets and actually start keeping some of the producing guys we have a little bit longer. Wood is young and might be on his way to several more good seasons.. he may regress too, nobody knows, but we are razor thin with SP’s and I’m not one who wants to see him or Shark go this year.

                  • mjhurdle

                    whether you are good or bad, “flipping” a player that you feel will rapidly decline (see Maholm, P) at the height of their value makes sense.
                    If the Cubs flip a young, controlled pitcher like Wood, it will be because they feel he is in line for a sharp decline. Otherwise his value to the Cubs is equal to or greater than what other teams will give for him (which was not the case for players like Demp/Maholm/Feldman)

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      And there is the team that is so desperate for that one piece they will grossly overpay.

                  • http://bleachernation.com woody

                    We will know by July if Woods 2013 season was a fluke or not. If he picks up where he left off then they had better hurry and sign him. He’s a great athelete and a competitor.

                  • Norm

                    Well you said you’re sick of the flipping of players attitude, but it sounds like you’re happy with the results. So…eh, forget it.

                  • Cyranojoe

                    There was reasonable hope that this would be that year that the focus on flipping would cease (though not the flipping itself), but it looks like 2015-2016 is more likely. If we’re still taking on FAs with the idea of flipping mid-’16, I’ll be flipping upset…

                  • http://BN Sacko

                    I agree EQ and there is a good possibility that the FO could stick with Wood as he is one they have aquired by trade and would not flip him.
                    I’m staying on the Shark wagon that we need to sign this guy for the same reason.

                • aaronb

                  I’d be cool with Dempster and Garza both being here.

                  I did like the Garza return. The Dempster return was pretty minimal.

                  I would have been an advocate of resigning both of them in free agency after the flip.

                  • Ivy Eater

                    Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks was minimal for a Dempster rental?

                    Interesting…

                    • aaronb

                      Neither is much of a prospect. Though I could see both of them get a cup of coffee at the MLB level at some point with some team.

                      I’d rather have Garza and Dempster on the team in 2014.

                    • mjhurdle

                      i’ll pass on Garza and Dempster.

                      I know it might be hard, but somehow i think we can find pitchers to put up the 0.0 bWAR that Garza and Dempster have combined for since they left the Cubs.

                    • aaronb

                      I’m certain that isn’t accurate…but none the less.

                      If the Cubs can find better….I’m ready for them to actually DO it. All we’ve seen thus far is cheapness, and crying poor.

                    • mjhurdle

                      well, if they go with Arrieta in the rotation, his 0.7 WAR dwarfs the Garza (- 0.1 in 2013 after trade) + Dempster (0.3 2012 after the trade, -0.2 2013).
                      so thats one. As long as the 5th starter is -0.6 or better, then you will get your wish.

              • itzscott

                Kinda drives me crazy when people seemingly draw their conclusions confidently on a few of the stats they choose to pick out when even they acknowledge that their stats provide an overall inaccurate indication of what a player’s future holds.

                • EQ76

                  who did that?

          • ari gold

            Or we could sign free agents, not build a farm system, and not win a world series for the next 100 years!

            • EQ76

              wow.. that’s exactly what I said!??!?! yep, i mentioned free agents and not building the farm system… wait…. ohhh, you just assumed that based on nothing.. ok.. good work.

              what i mean is: we have a great farm system, we will improve it again this year with the draft.. Wood is young and good. He fits into the future.. I guess everyone here is thrilled with flipping players every year in the future also?? No point in keeping any players while they’re at a high value??? REALLY???

              • Spoda17

                EQ, I actually agree with you about Wood; I want to sign him to an extension and build around him. I don’t see Shark and Wood as the same situation. Shark will leave if he doesn’t get an extension he wants. Shark will be very expensive if we do keep him. If the FO feels we will not agree on a contract, it makes no sense to keep him and lose out on the value he already has.

                I do not want to continually flip guys, and at the end of the season Jed said they are getting out of the business of sign and flip, and I tend to believe him, no reason not to. But Shark has said he wants to stay but won’t if we don’t win soon… that may change, but that is what the FO has to work with ATM.

                • EQ76

                  Spoda – I agree with your Shark comments.. Obviously if a dude gets too expensive and we won’t sign him to an extension then by all means lets flip him.. that goes for just about any player. I hope Jed is right and they stop the flipping and start the winning.

                  • http://BN Sacko

                    That’s what I said! Holy..
                    Where’s Rodney? I’ll tell ya.. No respect..

  • Isaac

    The Marshall trade seemed like stealing candy at the time, it seems like utter village pillory now.

    • Danny Ballgame

      Quite a jolly good deal sir

    • On The Farm

      I liked Wood before he was a Cub. He just seemed like a player I really wanted on my team. When the Marshall trade was announced and they got Wood, a decent 2B prospect, and a AAA OF, I remember thinking, “This rebuild is going to be easy if everyone lets Theo have his way in every trade. I mean look at what teams in the Cubs own division are dumb enough to give up!”.

  • Senor Cub

    Wood will be much better this year. We don’t talk about him much but he is only the most effective pitcher on this staff. Doesn’t have the great potential like Shark but unlike the Shark, Wood is someone you can rely on. Here is to a healthy season for Wood!

    • Noah_I

      I don’t see how Wood could be much better than a 3.11 ERA unless he vastly increases his strikeouts or starts walking 2 batters per 9 innings. Wood has generally shown an ability to limit HRs for an extreme flyball pitcher, as he’s done so every year except for 2012. As a result, Wood has good odds of his FIP being a better indicator of his true talent than xFIP, but I expect his ERA to be more in the mid to high 3′s next season. Still a solid 3/4 type in any rotation, with the problem being that the Cubs will likely rely on him to be their 2.

  • CubChymyst

    I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t pitch with a beard this season.

  • blublud

    Off the Subject, but for those claiming Richard Sherman was taunting Crabtree Sunday after that play, the audio of what he said is out. After the play, he ran up to Crabtree, patted him on his butt, and said “hell of a game, hell of a game” and stuck his hand out to shake Crabtree hand. He didn’t get mad or start taunting Crabtree until Crabtree hit him in his face.

    Also, before you judge Sherman, who graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA in communications, know that this all started last year at Larry Fitzgerald’s golf tournament when Crabtree, according to multiple witnesses(several whom are NFL football players) say that Crabtree instigated a verbal argument and tried to fight Richard Sherman. Also, it was Crabtree who was insulting and calling Richard Sherman out on twitter before the game. So now maybe people can see why he was so angry. Sherman didn’t start it, but he did finish it.

    • Jon

      What does this have to do with the Cubs, or baseball for that matter? Your Sherman love is a bit creepy.

      • Danny Ballgame

        There is a BN Bears tab at the top of the page

      • blublud

        You stalking all my post is even creepier.

        • Danny Ballgame

          I don’t think that it is considered stalking if you post something on a public forum and someone responds

          • blublud

            I’m just joking man, I’m not taking none of serious.

            • Danny Ballgame

              All good brother. So who are we drafting this year? I need more distractions until the start of ST

              • blublud

                I’m a Buccaneers fan. Rumors have us trading with St Louis to number 2 to get Clowney, or staying put and taking Khalil Mack.

                • Jon

                  If Lovie is in charge of personal, y’all are screwed.

                  • blublud

                    I said Chicago was dumb for firing Lovie. He ironic my team hires him. I’ll take my chances.

                    Funny thing is, the same thing people criticized Lovie for is the thing that happen with Trestman. I think the Lovie hire was the best hire of the off season.

                    • Jon

                      He was a solid coach. But many Bears fans will tell you, when he had says in personal decisions, it was a disaster more often than not.

                    • DarthHater

                      Is the Bears page broken, or what?

                    • Jon

                      Sorry Darth, we didn’t mean to push all your silly ‘meme’s off the main page.

                    • DarthHater

                      Jon
                      January 24, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply
                      What does this have to do with the Cubs, or baseball for that matter?

                      Huh.

                    • mjhurdle

                      Hopefully Lovie can find a way to improve his 19-40 record against teams with winning records.

                • On The Farm

                  Don’t you already have Adrian Claiborne? Like the dude with the most BA dreds of all D Linemen?

                  • blublud

                    Claiborne and Clowney would combine to have the best set of dreds in the league.

                    On another note, we are going after Charles Tillman. Dress must be a Lovie requirement.

                    • blublud

                      *dreds must be a Lovie requirement.

                • Danny Ballgame

                  Good luck with the Love-dog. You will have a top 5 defense that takes the ball away 3 times a game, scores points, and an offense that sucks huge balls. huuuuuuuuuge balls

                  • blublud

                    We already have a top defense. With Lovie, and Leslie Frazer hopefully we have the best defense.

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3699/12119246535_80d2282259_n.jpg[/img]

        • Danny Ballgame

          Mean Gene. Nice touch

    • twinkletoez

      There is such a thing as winning with class. Sherman has done more then just this in the past. After Seattle beat NE he ran up to Tom Brady, got in his face and repeatedly said “you mad bro” and then post a pic of Tom Brady on twitter with a caption saying “you mad bro”

      As many great players have said in the past. ACT LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE.

      Sherman is a very intelligent guy I am not doubting that, he just needs to learn how to win with class.

      Side note: He stated in his interview that Thug is just away of saying the N word and not getting in trouble for it. Does that mean a White or Mexican person can’t be a thug?

      • blublud

        Google first take from yesterday and listen about the thug word. Why is Sherman called athug, but Ritchie Incognito or RDaley Cooper, or the hockey players that started fighting 2 sec into a match not called a thug. What Sherman did could be called many things, but Thug is not one.

        Also, I like when TO and several others were scoring touchdowns and celebrating. If you don’t want to be shown up, then shut me down. I’m all for showboating and talking trash. That part off old school sports. I came name so many greats that have done it, none more than Mr Ali or Mr Jordan. Joe Namath, Jerry Rice, Reggie Miller, Magic Johnson and so. I have heard them guys say much more. I would love for Sherman to play for team.

        • blublud

          Damn, that was horrible to read.

          • TWC

            Heh. Don’t worry, Jay — no one read it.

        • mjhurdle

          umm, Icognito was called a thug by many many people, including a former All-Pro and the Washington Post.

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=incognito+is+a+thug

        • twinkletoez

          Non Baseball and non Cubs so this will be my last post on it. I didn’t mean to say that what Sherman did was “thugish”, I just think he was reaching when he said Thug is another way of saying “N” word.

          The Hockey thing makes no sense, fighting is allowed in hockey (though they have been taking steps to remove it for a while now) its part of the history of the game so a bunch of guys fighting in hockey does not fit into the category of “thug” either.

          Talk trash sure, show boat go for it, do it on the field to the other player or team. Don’t go screaming about it to a reporter after the game on national television. I don’t remember many of those legends you listed going off like that. (not counting Ali)

          What Ritchie Incognito did was horribly worse then anything Sherman has ever done.

        • willis

          First take is the worst show on television with two rambling idiots that find a way to turn everything into a racial discussion just so they can get attention. It’s a miserable watch.

    • Jon

      Question… is a “3.9 GPA” really impressive if the major was communications? When I was in college(granted I didn’t go somewhere as prestigious as Stanford), my communications major friends all chose that because they wanted to “coast” for four years.

      • blublud

        Cool. The point was not to say he was all that smart, but to say the guy knows how to speak and actually speaks very well.

        Also, I guess you can go to Stanford and get a 3.9 in communications with no problem. Not saying you can’t, but if you did, I would be very impressed. Also, selecting communications to coast is not a good idea. Check out the required classes and tell me that’s a coasting degree. You’ll be doing a whole lot of papers.

  • Matt Trueblood

    That 14.2% pop-up rate is actually, to my eye, a good omen. Inducing pop-ups is a skill, and an indicator of the ability to induce weak contact. I wouldn’t bet on 3.11 again, but I see Wood as a true-talent 3.50 ERA guy worth 2-3,wins, and I think he can consistently come in with RA/9 figures lower than his peripherals predict.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Unfortunately, popup frequencies vary quite a bit from one year to the next.. It does not reflect weak contact so much as it reflects batters just missing the ball. That is a big reason why pitchers with good HR:FB ratios one year usually regress to normal HR:FB ratios the next.

      • Noah_I

        I agree with this, but there are pitchers who have at least seemed to have talents for keeping HR/FB rate low over the course of their career. We need at least another full season of Wood doing this to determine if he has this talent or not.

    • JB88

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Wood has always been an extreme flyball pitcher and his HR rate significantly depended on days on which the wind was blowing in or out at Wrigley and has fluxuated during his time on the Cubs accordingly.

      I know I read an article about this last year and memory says it was written by Sahadev, but I can’t remember if it was here or on ESPN.

  • Cubbie in NC

    Looking at where the Cubs went to with Tanaka and where Shark’s arbitration numbers are makes me realize how much more expensive he is about to become.

    Hope Wood stays but if not the Cubs have to do what they have to do.

  • Stu

    It’s really amazing to read a tortured argument, putting the most positive spin possible on a real simple fact.

    If the Cubs really wanted Tanaka, they would have put the bid out there instead telling the agent that they COULD put their best bid out there. Why didn’t the agent just tell them to put up the best offer and stop playing games.

    I was reading that the Astros also put a bid in(funny!!) The most straight-forward explanation is that the FO has to APPEAR to be going after top talent, but can explain away not getting it.

  • TommyK

    It’s good that we’re keeping Wood. It’s so much better to lose games 3 to 0 than 7 to 0. I’ve been trying to think of scenarios that would lead to the 2014 Cubs scoring runs. For example, Castro accidently gets on base by getting hit by a pitch or something. Rizzo hits a double, and the first base coach somehow manages to get Castro’s attention in time for him to start running and score. The 500 or so people in the crowd give a standing ovation as that is the first run they’ve scored in like 3 games. The score is now 5 to 1 in the bottom of the 9th.

  • Voice of Reason

    Wood will be the more consistent starter between he and Shark.

    Trade Shark and keep Wood. Wood is what he is… a #4 starter on a good team.

    Plus, it puts a smile on your face whenever you have the chance to say “Wood”.

  • Stu

    Remember that there is no timetable.

  • https://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    My favorite Cubs pitcher currently. He is not only a decent player, but has the bellyfire us Cubs fans love without the giant ego. Even if he regresses slightly, I still see him as a relatively dominant pitcher with the desire to compete, learn from his mistakes, listen to his coaches and do everything he can to succeed. Even if his ERA looked more like his peripherals suggested, he’s the type of guy every team wants at least one of.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 32s
    An earnest shout of thanks to those that clicked on the #Cubs top 10 list. Traffic-wise, it was our most successful team list ever. #want

    We finally finished first in something….

    • TWC

      Ha. What a perfect “just wait ’til NEXT year!” moment for us Cubs fans.

    • mjhurdle

      WE’RE #1!!! WE’RE #1!!! WE’RE #1!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You’re welcome, Jason.

      • Patrick W.

        But you just plagiarize from other people and provide no residual benefit to them, Brett. Freaking blogger.

        • Danny Ballgame

          I, like many people on this site, use almost all of Brett’s references regularly and have made them some of my “go to” spots for Cubs info. Also, much like Playboy, I read BN for the articles

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Nonsense: he puts their humours back into balance.

  • JacqueJones

    Wood has even more WAR if you take into account his hitting. If there is one reason I dont want the DH, it is Travis Wood.

    • TWC

      That .222/.258/.381 line really screams out at you, no?

      • blublud

        Well, you guys taught me its not the overall stats that matter, it how much better you are than the other players. So that line is valuable.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Yes and that line wouldn’t beat a single DH and few bench player.

          • blublud

            Right. But if there is a DH in the lineup, then Wood would not be hitting. So it’s only important to compare his line against other pitchers. What any DH does is irrelevant because if they are in the game, they are hitting against other DH.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Well, look at it this way. League-average OPS from pitchers was 0.341. So, Wood provided approximately +0.298 in his starts!

          However, as that was one start in 5 games, that reduces the contribution to +0.059. And, of course, that is one spot in 9: and not only does that spot get the fewest PAs : last year, the Cubs had just under 9.8% of their PA’s (1 in 10.22) by the #9 slot. And, of course, Wood gets only about 75% of those because he’s almost always out of the game after 6 or 7 innings or so. (I rounded up because he gets yanked for a PH less often than other pitchers).

          That means that Wood contributed approximately +0.0043 to the Team OPS, which is about 0.2 victories. In other words, that bat is good for a win every 5 years!

          In contrast, a DH who is half as good relative to his rivals (OPS +0.15) would contribute about 0.8 wins a year. (Only Papi did that well or better: Sox DH’s had an OPS 0.225 higher than their counterparts because of that last year! And, of course, as they had more PAs than other DHs, that was worth a bit more than one victory over the average DH, never mind a “replacement” player.)

  • cubbiehawkeye

    I like having a pitcher that can supply a good bat. Until our offense gets better, Wood starts sucking, or the DH comes to the NL I don’t see any reason to consider trading him. He likes be a cub which is rare these days. If someone gives up a stupid good return I suppose I can see the argument.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Wood starts sucking, or the DH comes to the NL”

      heh.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+