Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Kerry Wood was told by Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts that he has a job with the Cubs for as long as he likes after he retires. One radio report yesterday said that Wood was specifically promised a broadcasting job, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that’s baloney.
That certainly may explain why Wood took such a cheap deal to come back to Chicago. Thinkin’ about the future, you know? He already has a ton of money. It would be reasonable to think that maybe he wants to have something to do with his post-playing days other than sitting around the house counting it.
When I read the story I realized that I had no idea what Kerry Wood’s voice sounded like, so I looked for a video interview. Here’s one. For what it’s worth, it sounds like he’d have a good voice for TV or radio.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.