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Aug 192010

Kerry Wood has been pretty good since coming to the Yankees. Despite some control issues, six walks per nine innings, he’s been effective. He’s allowed just seven hits and one run while striking out thirteen (after a 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2K performance last night). Overall, I like what I’ve seen from Kerry Wood in his brief time with the Yankees.

Next season, Kerry Wood has a team option worth $11M. That’s a whole lot of money and there’s no way the Yankees should exercise it. I’m pretty sure they’re smart enough not to. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t bring Wood back.

Wood’s stuff has still been fantastic this year and I would not hesitate to offer him a contract for 2011. Like I said when he was traded to the Yankees, at best, he’s a dominant reliever who could close if need be. At worst, he’s a hard thrower who misses bats. Those are both valuable things in at least some capacity.

Relievers, though, are tricky. Today’s valuable piece could be tomorrow’s DFA fodder. It’s also worth noting that some of Wood’s numbers have been trending the wrong way for the last few years.

Perhaps, then, there should not be a Damaso Marte like offer made. That is, I don’t think Cashman should make a multiple year offer to Wood. Ben Kabak and I were Tweeting about this the other night and we thought maybe the Yankees could offer a two year deal, essentially splitting the $11M on Wood’s option, which might be a little much, but not terrible. However, it’d probably be better for the Yankees to offer Wood a one year deal at a price lower than the $10.5M he’s making this year. Maybe one year with a low base and a few incentives/escalators? What do you guys think?

11 Responses to “Bring Back Wood?”

  1. I’m not a huge fan, but I think if you are careful with him he could help the team. That said, you cant pay him 8+ million a year. I cant justify much more than 5 for a reliever, to be honest.  (Quote)

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  2. If I was Wood, I would want to be a closer or starter for any team. To come back to become a setup man will require more money for him to stay than if he sign elsewhere. i would pick up the team option. i think he will get 3 years deal from other teams. i wouldnt offer more than 1 year to wood.  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    Wood is done as a starter, he was once a very special arm in the rotation but those days are done and everyone in baseball including Kerry knows it. Now when it comes to the bullpen he has had success in the closers role but has he had domination or anything that close to it? I mean really has he shown enough to inspire a team with a chance to win a championship enough to give him a multi-year deal when he has been as injured as he has been and as inconsistent as he has been?

    All that said I do like the idea of bringing Kerry back and was discussing this a few days ago with some friends of mine, I think Kerry wood have to really consider coming back to a place where he knows he has a chance 1. Win a championship every year he stays and 2. has a chance to setup Mariano which while it may not be closing he does have a chance to win the job directly in front of the greatest closer of all time.

    Like Damon last year I don’t see the market for Wood being big when it comes to multi year deals, he is a 33 year old pitcher who has had a history of shoulder and elbow problems and has shown inconsistent play over the last few years. For the teams interest and for Wood’s interest I would think a 1 year deal starting around 4-5 with incentives to get the total close to 8-10 million depending on if he saves games and how many batters he Ks and if he stays healthy and what not (He would most likely never reach most of the incentives and stay around 4-6 million).

    If he wants multiple years let him find out what Damon did last year, if he wants to close and that is end all be all then there is nothing we can do to stop him from leaving but if he wants to win and lets be honest what is left for him to do in his career? He doesn’t have the abiltity to reach the career milestones he once aspired to and he isn’t getting any younger, then he will be willing to reach a compromise on a 1 year deal.  (Quote)

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  3. I don’t see him coming back. It’s a catch 22 – if he doesn’t pitch well we won’t want him and if he continues to pitch well and is key cog down the stretch and into the playoffs someone will give him a chance to close and over pay for him. The difference between Wood and Marte is Marte is a lefty.

    If Wood really wants to return and will take a discount and 1 year deal, I guess I’d be ok with it. He’s still an injury risk though and I prefer the model of building the bullpen from within and supplementing it if necessary via trade deadline deals. Right handed set up men with expensive contracts aren’t that hard to acquire in July if necessary.  (Quote)

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  4. “Relievers, though, are tricky. Today’s valuable piece could be tomorrow’s DFA fodder. It’s also worth noting that some of Wood’s numbers have been trending the wrong way for the last few years.”

    I agree with that point a lot. He’s great now, but we’ve seen plenty of relievers turn from great to ugly over the course of an offseason.

    Obviously, this is going to come down to the money. If the Yankees can sign him for a one- or multi-year deal for $5MM or less per, I’d say it’s worth it. Any higher, nada.  (Quote)

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  5. What’s the point of developing this plethora of pitchers in the minor leagues if you don’t give them a chance.
    I like Wood too but there are 6-7-8 pitchers in the minors who project as starters or Hughes/Joba type 1-2 year relievers.  (Quote)

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    Steve S. Reply:

    Excellent point, Larry. They have a bunch of guys in the system with high strikeout-high walk ability (Sanchez/Alby/Noesi) so spending big on a free agent with that profile is unnecessary. They may value his veteran presence out there, but I would think Wood will get an offer to close somewhere.  (Quote)

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  6. A lot depends on how the rest of the season and post season play out.

    If he pitches like he has, maybe even has a playoff hero moment, bonds with teammates,etc. there will be momentum to bring him back on a Flash Gordon type deal.

    If he reverses, or even worse, explodes in a big moment, or two—-ahhh, never mind.

    On a lighter note–there is the exCub factor to consider, too.  (Quote)

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    smurfy Reply:

    Ooch – Farnsworth was worth his weight in horse manure, wasn’t he? But Jon Lieber was a stout soldier, and so is Woody!  (Quote)

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  7. Really depends on the marketplace for his services. If the Yanks could bring him back for 2 years around 8-10 mil after a good performance for the rest of this season, I’d think they’d do that. More than that in terms of years or dollars and I think they’d pass.  (Quote)

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  8. Another thing, after a few good weeks with the Yanks we shouldn’t forget what a disaster that 2 year 20 mil deal was for the Indians in terms of both performance and health for Wood. I can’t expect him to be any better or healthier just because he’s wearing pinstripes.  (Quote)

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