Kerry Wood has said all along he would either return to the Cubs or retire.
He is currently a free agent, but may not have to hang up his spikes just yet.
CSN's David Kaplan is reporting the veteran reliever will almost assuredly be back with the Cubs in 2012 and could even sign a two-year deal.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were interested in a total makeover of the Cubs organization when they took over the front office and one of the major steps was to talk to Wood. Epstein met with the 34-year-old righty in Chicago last week to talk open and honestly about the state of the franchise. As Wood is the longest-tenured veteran, with the exception of the two years he spent in Cleveland and New York, and the most respected voice in the clubhouse, Epstein was hoping to gain a greater insight into how to change the Cubs' culture.
Wood compiled a 3.35 ERA last season in 51 innings. He struck out 57 batters and posted his best strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.71) since his 2008 All Star season with the Cubs when he saved 34 games.
He was shut down during the team's last homestand of 2011 with a knee injury, but all signs point to a full recovery. With Carlos Marmol coming off an erratic season, it wouldn't hurt the Cubs to have another veteran presence at the back end of the bullpen. Wood served mostly as a seventh or eighth inning guy in '11, but could be provide depth if Marmol experiences bouts of inconsistency again.
CSNChicago's David Kaplan contributed to this story.
Addison Russell is no longer with the Cubs and he hasn’t yet found a new home in baseball, but he hasn’t escaped being on the receiving end of some tough shots.
Baseball Prospectus, which produces a book each year with team and player capsules, breakdowns and projections, took such a shot. Their blurb for Russell is short and direct.
“The 24-hour national domestic violence hotline number is 800-799-7233.”
Russell was infamously suspended for domestic abuse late in 2018. He returned to the Cubs in 2019, but was not tendered a contract after the season, making him a free agent.
Russell hasn’t found a new landing place with spring training already underway. With this still hanging over his head, it’s no secret as to why.
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As new manager David Ross takes over for Joe Maddon, he intends to tweak the culture of the Cubs and set his own mark on the team. Jeff Nelson is joined by Outside the Ivy and Bleacher Nation's Michael Cerami to discuss what kind of impact David Ross will have on the 2020 Cubs, what should be expected from the pitching staff and bullpen, and the uncertainty of who plays in the outfield.
(1:36) - What does Ross' impact look like?
(8:28) - Concerns with the pitching staff
(16:00) - Will Craig Kimbrel be better this year?
(20:00) - Will Kris Bryant have enough rope to get used to leading off?
(25:05) - Who do you trust to play the outfield every day?
Listen here or in the embedded player below.
Cubs Talk Podcast