Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
Posted 4:59 PM Updated 5:49 PM
The Cubs have reached an agreement with Kerry Wood that will address their need for bullpen help and bring back a clubhouse leader.
Wood enjoys a strong relationship with general manager Jim Hendry and is making Chicago his permanent home. Those factors helped a Cubs team that has been looking for a right-handed reliever to pair with lefty Sean Marshall and closer Carlos Marmol during end-game situations.
Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan first reported that a deal was close on Wednesday night, and it was finalized Thursday at a discount. The Chicago Sun-Times had the contracts value at one year for 1.5 million, which should give Hendry some payroll flexibility this winter.
Wood who played 10 seasons in Chicago and will turn 34 in June has reinvented himself late in his career. He is a specialist, not the kid who struck out 20 in his fifth major-league start, and should be a veteran presence for a young bullpen.
The Cubs know all about Woods checkered medical history, but he excelled last season after a deadline trade from Cleveland to New York.
In the heat of a playoff race, Wood posted a 0.69 ERA across 24 games with the Yankees. He allowed only two runs in eight postseason innings, positioning himself nicely for free agency.
Wood could have been a difference-maker for the Yankees, Red Sox or any other contender looking to spend money, but it appears that he simply wanted to go home again.
Bill Dancy who spent more than three decades working in the Phillies and Royals organizations will take over for Ryne Sandberg as manager at Triple-A Iowa.
As part of the minor-league staff changes announced Thursday, Brian Harper, the catcher on the 1991 Twins World Series team, will replace Dancy as Double-A Tennessee manager. Mariano Duncan who was a part of the Dodgers major-league staff last season will be Tennessees hitting coach.
Former Cubs Jeff Fassero (Class-A Peoria pitching coach), Frank Castillo (Rookie-Mesa pitching coach) and Jason Dubois (Mesa hitting coach) have positions within the organization. Dennis Lewallyn (pitching) and Tom Beyers (hitting) were promoted to minor-league coordinators.
CSNChicago.coms Patrick Mooney contributed to this report.