Bringing Kerry Wood back to Chicago was not simply an offseason move that will sit well with fans, but actually was a crucial addition that will launch the Cubs into prime position to take the division in 2011.
After posting a 0.69 ERA in 24 appearances as a Yankee, many courted Wood’s services, but ultimately “Kid K” settled for a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cubs. Woody was born into the league through Wrigleyville, and he wants to die the same way.
What makes this move such a good one is providing a solid complement to newly resigned closer Carlos Marmol. Wood will be able to step in and slam the door before Marmol comes in to lock it and throw the key away. Having Wood as the new setup man will also allow the Cubs to do what they have wanted to do in moving young phenom Andrew Cashner out of the bullpen and into the rotation; at a price of only $1.5 million the Cubs were able to still sign Matt Garza, something they would not have been able to do if they had to pay a pitcher of Wood’s caliber more to come to Chicago.
Sure, at nothing else Wood is a feel good story in his reunion with the Cubs, and brings his story full circle with fans. However, Kerry will mean much more than a feel good story to the staff this year, and his leadership and dedication will influence everyone around him. Great move, Hendry.