Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
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The Cubs re-signed Kerry Wood to a one year deal with a 2013 option. Used as a set up man, Wood racked up 57 strikeouts in 51 innings and he finished with a 3.35 ERA. His strikeout rate is intact and his walk rate actually came down and is at a best he hasn’t seen since 2008.
Wood will turn 35 during the season and it seems like he’s been around forever. He’ll make $3 million in 2012 and there’s a club option for 2013 that will make him 2013 if he pitches well enough. He did have knee surgery in October but it’s expected he’ll be back in time for spring training.
The Cubs made another deal as they traded left handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds for Travis Wood and some prospects. Marshall was one of the best relievers last year but Theo Epstein sold high and picked up Reds starter Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes.
Wood has a nice rookie campaign but he had a tougher time in his sophomore year last as he was shuffled back and forth between the Reds and their Triple-A affiliate. Wood had a 4.84 ERA and a 1.491 WHIP. His walk rate was up and his strikeout rate was down which isn’t a good trend but he doesn’t turn 25 until February so he definitely can be worked on.
Sappelt is a major league ready outfielder who made his debut last year with the Reds. He turns 25 next month. He wasn’t very effective at the plate but he was really good for Louisville so he could end up at a fourth or fifth outfielder. Torreyes is only 19 and he was really good for Dayton in 67 games. Not too shabby for a second baseman and while he’s a few years away, he could be a gem if he continues to develop at the plate.
The Cubs locked up journeyman outfielder Reed Johnson to a one year deal yesterday. I like these kind of moves. The Cubs aren’t going to compete this year, so let’s plug some holes with some temporary veterans to let the farm system play out. Johnson has some nice doubles power and he finished with 22 doubles in 266 plate appearances. He doesn’t walk much though which hurts him but if he can replicate his .816 OPS next year, I’ll be happy.
There’s a physical pending so the financial aspects of the deal haven’t been released. He made just under a million last year and my guess the deal is for about that same amount.
The Cubs signed Oakland Athletics outfielder David DeJesus to a two year and he’ll most likely end up as the team’s starting right fielder in 2012. He’ll earn $4.25 million in each of the next two years and then there’s a third year team option that would pay him $6.5 million with a $1.5 million buy out.
I like this deal. DeJesus was never the batting champion everyone thought he’d be as a prospect and while there’s have been some durability issues the past couple of years, he’s put up some solid numbers and he has a good eye at the plate. He has a career .815 OPS against right handed pitching and that goes down to .690 against lefties but that just means we might see DeJesus taking a spell now and then when a left hander is on the mound. It’s not a lot of money so that’s nice and he’s what you’d call a professional hitter.
The Cubs offered arbitration to two of their sluggers. Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez were both offered arbitration and it’s expected that both will decline it. With both being Type B free agents, that means the Cubs will pick up a couple of sandwich picks when another team scoops them up.
Kerry Wood was the odd man out. He wasn’t offered arbitration but the Cubs are expected to be where Wood lands. They’ll just take it outside of the system and hope they can strike a better deal, and brush off potential suitors, better then if they went the arbitration route.
The Cubs have a lot of work to do and there’s a lot of holes. Throw in the sub-par 2011 season and it’s obvious that Theo Epstein has his work cut out for him. Still, we all knew this wouldn’t happen overnight so we’ll have to see how it all plays out.
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