Kerry Wood took less money to sign with the Cubs as a free agent this offseason and then turned down a chance to potentially join a contender at the trade deadline, so not surprisingly he’s also interested in re-signing for 2012.
Wood will be a free agent this offseason and should draw plenty of interest following a strong season in which he’s thrown 42 innings with a 3.24 ERA and 48/18 K/BB ratio in a setup role, but the 34-year-old said during a radio interview today that “hopefully Chicago would like to have me back.”
Wood is earning $1.5 million after turning down more lucrative offers from several teams, including the crosstown White Sox, and has indicated previously that he’d basically like to be a Cub for life. His stance on that apparently hasn’t changed despite longtime friend Jim Hendry being fired as general manager last week, with Wood calling it “part of the game.”
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”