ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Saturday that free agent right-hander Kerry Wood is no longer a lock to re-sign with the Cubs and has begun speaking to other teams. Now we have even more details.
Crasnick reported moments ago that the Phillies are among the clubs with interest in Wood, and may get aggressive if veteran setup man Jose Contreras fails to make significant progress within the next few weeks from his September elbow surgery.
Wood posted a solid 3.35 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 57/21 K/BB ratio in 51 innings last season for the Cubs. He accepted a team-friendly one-year, $1.5 million contract last offseason to return to Chicago, but may have been turned off this winter by the Theo Epstein-led rebuilding movement. The 34-year-old would probably like to join the bullpen of a contending team, and the Phillies certainly fit that bill.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.