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.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.