Travis Wood is no longer employed, so could he be a part of the answer as the Cubs search for pitching?
Travis Wood was DFA’d by the Padres over the weekend. The #Royals are now paying him $8 million to NOT play for 2 teams.— Craig Brown (@CraigBrown_BP) December 18, 2017
To start, it's never a good sign when two teams that are not contending get rid of a guy and actually pay him to go somewhere else.
But the Cubs know Wood well, so surely it could be a great buy-low opportunity, right?
Wood helped the Cubs win the first World Series in 108 years and famously stopped wearing shirts after that.
His final stat line in 2016 was solid — 4-0, 2.95 ERA, 1.13 WHIP — but he was not counted on as much of a factor in the postseason, appearing in 9 games but pitching only 6.1 innings.
The reason for that is Wood essentially became a LOOGY (a Lefty One-Out GuY) in that he struggled mightily against righties. The southpaw finished the 2016 season with a .265 batting average and .865 OPS against vs. right-handers as he and the Cubs searched for answers — to no avail — on how he could get opposite-handed hitters out.
The bad news is, those struggles not only permeated into 2017, but they actually got worse. He allowed a .317 batting average and .935 OPS against righties while posting a 6.80 ERA in 39 games (14 starts) for the Royals and Padres last season.
Wood is still young (he turns 31 in February) and could be signed to something like a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training as a LOOGY with upside. Plus, he'd represent more starting depth, too, which is always valuable and something the Cubs are still currently looking for the week before Christmas.
Of course fans want him back as well so Joe Maddon could utilize him in ridiculous and awesome ways again like as a left fielder or pinch-hitter.