Things looked a little dicey earlier this week, but Kerry Wood is back where we all thought he would be when the offseason began.
From David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com comes word that the Cubs and Wood have agreed to terms on a new deal. The announcement was made to an “insane ovation” at Cubs Convention earlier this evening. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that he’ll get a one-year deal worth $3 million with a club option for 2013.
Wood signed a team-friendly one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cubs last offseason, despite getting multi-year offers for more money elsewhere, but his new deal is much more in line with the market value for a veteran set-up man. The 34-year-old right-hander posted a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio over 51 innings in 2011. He’ll set up for closer Carlos Marmol again in 2012.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.