It was exactly how many figured it would happen.
Despite Kerry Wood saying that there was “nothing new” to report on his potential new contract with the Cubs early Friday on local radio, the Cubs announced that they signed the 34-year-old reliever to a new contract.
It was announced at the Cubs Convention, with Wood the last player to be introduced as an announcement. It was speculated by many that that would be the way the Cubs would announce it, and it was.
The deal is for one year, and worth $3 million. It also includes an option for 2013. Wood had been rumored to want $4 million.
Early in the offseason, Theo Epstein expressed his desire to bring back Wood. But talks were rumored to have soured in the past couple of weeks, leading Wood to supposedly seek other options. Whether or not he was seriously considering them is unknown, but teams like Philadelphia and Cincinnati were believed to be in on the right hander.
Wood returns for his 12th season with the Cubs organization and his second after a two-year hiatus in which he pitched in Cleveland and in New York. He posted a 3.35 ERA last season in 51 innings before his season ended a couple weeks early because of a knee injury.
Wood figures to take his place in front of Carlos Marmol in the Cubs bullpen, likely teaming up with James Russell as the setup tandem. He’ll also serve as a mentor for the young Cubs pitching staff, which has seen a tremendous overhaul this winter.