Monday, November 26, 2007

Kerry Wood Returns To The Cubs

Pitcher Kerry Wood, who's career has been plagued by injuries forcing him to switch from the starting role to a relief pitcher, agreed Monday to a $4.2 million, one-year deal to return to the Chicago Cubs. Wood, the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year, can make an additional $3.45 million in performance bonuses. He had a $1.75 million salary this year. This right-hander went 1-1 last season with a 3.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He didn't join the team until Aug. 5 when he made his first appearance since June 2006.

When Wood is healthy, he is tops in the majors as far as pitching goes. Wood ranks fourth on Chicago's all-time strikeout list with 1,323, while his .215 batting average against is the lowest of any Cub pitcher in franchise history with a minimum 1,000 innings pitched. Most notably for Wood was when he struck out 20 Houston Astros in just his fifth major league start in 1998 and went 13-6 in that first season, helping the Cubs win the NL wild card.

It is unknown at the moment if Wood will continue in a relief role in 2008 or get his starting job back.

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