Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Friday afternoon that the Cubs and Kerry Wood were getting closer on a one-year deal, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is hearing that the veteran right-hander is still talking to multiple clubs and that a deal with Chicago is “far from done.”
Wood left a lot of money on table last offseason to sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Cubs, but the 34-year-old reportedly wants a market value contract this winter after posting a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio over 51 innings in 2011 while setting up for closer Carlos Marmol.
His opinion may have changed now that the club is headed for a full-scale rebuild, but Wood said after undergoing knee surgery last September that he would retire if the Cubs didn’t bring him back.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.