The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of a rebuilding process led by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, where they are looking to lay off the foundation for sustained success on a franchise that hasn’t been able to win a World Series in more than 100 years.
While they have already lock up some ‘core’ players like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to team-friendly deals, much has been talked about the lack of pitching the team has with the struggles of Jeff Samardzija and the absence of near-MLB ready talent at the upper levels of the minors.
One move that could help mitigate that problem is signing lefty Travis Wood to an extension.
The southpaw arrived to the Cubs from the Cincinnati Reds in the trade that also sent reliever Sean Marshall to the Great American Ball Park, and after his first full season at The Show, the future looks all but promising for the starter.
Wood is coming off a great year where he not only ended with a 3.11 ERA, but he also pitched much better than his 9-12 record indicates. He was one of the league leaders in quality starts this past year, and also represented the Cubs in the All-Star Game.
Wood is also a stellar athlete and he’s not clumsy with the bat either, where he posted a .222 average but connected 3 HR, 8 RBI and had a .639 OPS. It’s definitively a small-size sample, but having a pitcher with all the commodities that Wood brings to the table, and that can also hit is definitively something very rare in today’s baseball.
The Cubs would make a great move locking up Wood for the foreseeable future. While he might not have TOR stuff, he’s definitively a capable arm that could post big numbers for the Cubs if this team is able to contend in the following years.