REPORT: Cubs Have Made Offer to Travis Wood

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REPORT: Cubs Have Made Offer to Travis Wood

Chicago Cubs

Even in the face of rapid additions to the Cubs’ burgeoning pile of pitching depth, it turns out that an old friend isn’t totally out of the picture:

The Cubs’ 5th man rotation options now go four deep, with all of Mike Montgomery, Brett Anderson, Alec Mills, and Eddie Butler plausible contenders. Thus, realistically offering Wood a chance to win a rotation job is not something the Cubs can do – so, then, I dig the transparency of offering him instead to repeat in the swing role he’s worked so well for the Cubs in recent years.

That said, even in that role, there are some issues. For as stellar as Wood’s results were against lefties last year (.128/.208/.239), they were equally terrible against righties (.263/.344/.521). While Wood would definitely be welcome in the bullpen as a match-up lefty (currently, the Cubs’ lefty options – if Montgomery and Anderson are rotation arms – includ Brian Duensing, Caleb Smith, Rob Zastryzny, and Jack Leathersich), it’s tough to know for sure that he can give the Cubs’ effective multi-inning outings, or if he’s really developed serious problems against righties. Consider, although he managed righties reasonably well in 2015 (.300 wOBA), they hammered him in 2016 (.362) and 2014 (.371).

Still, depending on the outlay of cash and Wood’s openness to his role, it’s impossible not to at least want him around in Spring Training. Guys get hurt, and Wood has demonstrated big league success. Even in a pinch where he was thrust into the rotation by way of a number of injuries, he’s likely to be far better than replacement level. Throw in his value as a hitter, a baserunner, and a part-time outfielder (seriously, those are small things, but they are non-zero), and he’s a good guy to have around.

We’ll see if this goes anywhere.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.