Wood Files For Free Agency

Cubs.com sez Kerry Wood has filed for free agency. He still has till November 12th to talk exclusively with the Cubs.

It would be extremely sad to see Woody in another uniform, but unless he is happy in a set-up role, I don’t know if he would be willing to hang around the north side anymore. He certainly had flashes of his old self this season out of the bullpen. His 3.33 ERA was the second lowest of his career, but it was in a season in which he pitched the second lowest number of innings of his career (24 1/3).

Wood will be 31 next season which means he could still have a number of productive seasons left in him, but with his history of arm problems, multiple surgeries, and the violent arm snap of his delivery, he almost seems destined to be one of those pitcher’s whose elbow eventually shoots off in the middle of a game.

I love Kerry Wood. I love him for his heart, his determination, for his record-setting performance against the Astros, for his pitching duel against Clemens, for his dominance in the Atlanta series, for his humble acceptance of defeat after Game 7, and for his (alleged) destruction of the infamous boom-box.

I know the Cubs front office loves him too (especially after taking a bit of a home-town discount last year) and I’m sure they will make him an appropriate offer, but I think the question will be - what does Wood want his role to be? Does he see himself as a closer? Does he want to try and start again? Would the Cubs want him in these positions?

Dempster was a serviceable closer but certainly not someone that inspired a lot of confidence when he headed to the mound. With Todd Jones, Mariano Rivera and Francisco Cordero both hitting the open market this winter, there are more reliable closers to be had. Would the Cubs try to sign a FA or give the opportunity to Marmol or Wood?

I’m getting off track here - my point is that Kerry Wood may have pitched his last game in blue pinstripes. If that ends up being the case, I wish him all the best (except when he pitches against us) and thanks for the memories!

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