If there was any doubt that the Kerry Wood era has ended in Chicago, the Cubs mostly put those doubts to bed yesterday when they declined the chance to offer Wood arbitration. Almost immediately after that news broke, Reds' manager Dusty Baker told the press that he's interested in bringing Wood to Cincinnati:
"We have a closer already in [ Francisco] Cordero, who we have under contract for a few more years," Baker said Monday. "But somebody can use Kerry Wood. I am going to call him. I like Kerry Wood as a person, not just as a ballplayer, but as a person. I will give him a call and see what's up."
I can't imagine what THAT conversation would be about, but Baker later says he'll have to go to Walt Jocketty to talk about Wood. With the money the Reds are paying Cordero, this is probably the beginning and end of this story. Still, think about the horror on Wood's face when Dusty calls. Does his arm twitch involuntarily?
In all reality, Wood not getting an arbitration offer is probably more a sign of the economic times than anything. The Cubs feel that they don't need Wood and they don't want to risk him not getting a good offer, accepting arbitration, and forcing the Cubs to pay an extra $8 or 10 million next year. Normally, they'd be happy to take the risk to try and pull an extra draft pick. This year, teams are being much more cautious.
Cubs Erase All Ties With Kerry Wood, Dusty Baker Is Interested originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 02 Dec 2008 12:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.