Phillies among teams with interest in Kerry Wood

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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.

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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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.