The Plain Dealer has a story this morning about Indians’ closer Kerry Wood and the flashing red neon “trade bait” sign floating over his head. He makes $10.5 million this year on a team that doesn’t look to contend and which has no compunction about dumping salary. If he finishes 55 games, an $11 million option for next year vests. The odds of that coming to pass are akin to Damon’s Gold Glove contract incentive paying off.
In the meantime, he’s the Indians’ closer, and they’re going to try to get as much out of him as possible:
Acta says he’ll use Wood in more four-out save situations. He did it twice last year, saving one game and blowing another. “With Kerry’s experience as a starter, we feel he can handle that,” said Acta.
Said Wood, “We talked about that Monday. Manny said he’s not opposed to
a four or five-out save. Obviously, it won’t happen a lot, but I’m not
opposed to that.”
How sad is it that we’ve reached a point where a closer getting four or five outs is such an oddity that it’s worth mentioning.
There is a disturbing report out of the Dominican Republic, yet to be confirmed by police, but in wide circulation thanks to a series of tweets from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. The report: that looters encountered a still alive Yordano Ventura after his automobile accident, robbing of him his World Series ring and other possessions, before leaving him to die.
The report comes from Dominican Republic journalist Euri Cabral, who made the claim on a radio station. His comments were picked up by Martinez, who tweeted about it in Spanish. The tweets, collected and translated by the Royals Review blog:
“How outrageous to know that a life like Yordano’s could have been saved had it not been that they looted him the way he was looted . . . Now it is more painful to know that Yordano remained alive after the accident and instead of someone to help him, they robbed him and let him die . . . I hope an investigation will be carried out, because if there is any specific evidence of this, I would feel a great deal of shame for my country.”
As for the state of details which are currently confirmed, Rustin Dodd and Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star report that Ventura crashed his Jeep after leaving an annual festival, losing control and hitting a guardrail in a mountainous area in foggy conditions. Ventura was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was ejected from the vehicle.
Ventura’s family is said to be pushing for further investigation and clarification as to Cabral’s claims. We will obviously followup with anything Dominican authorities say on the matter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.