Despite a regime change that included his friend Jim Hendry being let go as general manager Kerry Wood still wants to stay with the Cubs.
Wood, who passed up bigger offers to sign a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Chicago last offseason, said yesterday on Comcast SportsNet Chicago that he liked the move to hire Theo Epstein and “we plan on getting together and talking a little bit and we just go from there.”
Wood threw 51 innings with a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio this season, so assuming he’s willing to re-sign for a similarly below-market rate there’s really no reason for Epstein and company not to welcome him back. Wood has made it very clear that he wants to retire a Cub and they can certainly use a cheap and still very effective setup man.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.