Kerry Wood should probably keep a bag packed all season

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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.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.