Kerry Wood was initially thought to be a shoe-in to come back to the Cubs in 2012 and possibly beyond.

That may not be the case anymore.

As David Kaplan and his panel of guests discussed Tuesday on Chicago Tribune Live, he used to think there was no way Wood would pitch anywhere else next season, but he believes there may be a chance now.

"From what I hear, Kerry wants a fair contract," Kaplan said. "He took the short, small deal last year because the Cubs had financial issues in terms of their budget. Now, they don't have those issues. He wants to be paid like a fair setup guy and they have not come to an agreement yet on a deal."

That's worrisome.

It was just a week before Christmas that Wood's signing was considered "inevitable."

A month before that, Kap reported how Theo Epstein called upon Wood to talk openly and honestly about the state of the franchise and how they could change the culture. As Kap said then, Wood is the most respected voice in the Cubs' clubhouse on top of being one of the premier relievers in the game.

The fans absolutely adore him. It would not be good business sense for the new Cubs front office to skimp a player like that. If money is the real issue here (which it might not be, admittedly), is an extra 1.5 million or so worth alienating a clubhouse leader and fan favorite?

 

Hopefully a deal gets done and it's just taking a while because of the holiday and such.