Hanley: Cubs Shouldn’t Overpay Wood To Stick Around

(WSCR) –– This column is going to be as short as the Cubs’ contract talks with Kerry Wood need to be.

Five words should do it: Take it or leave it.

This is not to say a Cubs’ cold shoulder to Kerry should necessarily be the prelude to his Woody’s Winter Warm-up charity function Friday night at the Navy Pier Harry Caray’s.

Yet, if what CSNPhilly.com columnist Jim Salisbury reported is true — that Wood wants a one-year deal in the vicinity of $4 million — then the Cubs should say good-bye and thanks to the former Kid K.

No way should the Cubs pony up that kind of cash to Wood when 2012 is going to be the first of a few likely losing and rebuilding years.

The Cubs should offer Wood something in the neighborhood of $1.75 million. That would be a fair bump from the $1 million sweetheart deal Wood gave the Cubs last season. Remember Wood said at the end of last season he would retire if he didn’t re-sign with the Cubs. If he has had a change of heart and can get anywhere close to $4 million from Philadelphia, Detroit, or Cincinnati, teams reportedly interested, good for him.

As much as Cubs fans would love to see Wood sign a Cubs contract in time to be part of the team’s annual convention kick off Friday, the guess here is that won’t happen.

The team, however, should tell Wood that is its deadline.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has said signing Wood was a “priority.” However, as much as Kerry gave Cubs his hometown discount last season, his bank account didn’t suffer when the Cubs paid him $12 million in 2006 for the four games he started — or the $8 million in 2004 for another injury-shortened season.

Having Wood, and his leadership, around the Cubs until he hangs up his cleats for the last time is the ending all should want.

But Wood should realize Cubs fans are done with the losing ways of sentiment trumping baseball smarts. The Cubs have many needs, and a $4 million set-up guy isn’t one of them.

More from Brian Hanley
  • NWSideJim

    Kerry Wood, nice guy and all, but enough already! He is a symbol of the Cubs failure more than anything else. Aside from his one fluke game of 20 strikeouts, his career has been pedestrian. Unfortunately, he’s going to be back as an ex-player who somehow is supposed to be the face of the Cubs or something. I find his continued presence as a latter day Mister Cub to be annoying and really wish he’d just go away. The Cubs have more pressing matters at hand.

  • Jake from da burbs

    Dont understand what the big deal is here.

    Cubs are not going to win in 2012 or 2013. Its not like saving money with Wood is going to help us get another guy who could help us win a World Series. Next two years are rebuilding years and if Wood is OK to be here to help the Cubs build towards 2014, just do the right thing and get it done.

    We’re being tight fisted about 2-3M when we were willing to dump 15M for Carlos Zambrano. C’amon…

    If you’re looking to add Wood to the organization past his playing days, just take care of him now and discuss about a transition plan to a front office or field job.

    Why not sign him to a 2 year 5-6M deal with a promised gig after his contract expires. Wood is not completely used up and he’s still a valuable clubhouse leader guy that is much needed on this team.

    Also, he’s not blocking any other pitcher being just a late inning reliever. He also provides a solid option, if Marmol gets traded at the trade deadline.

    Again, not sure why the Cubs are being so contentious with a solid player who provides a lot of intrinsic value and that may have organizational value down the line over a few million dollars. And you’re doing all of this right before the Cubs convention.

    He’s not blocking a spot and its not like the money for Wood would be going to get a guy like Fielder. Stop this nonsense. Sign him to a 2 year deal with a transition plan. Get it done already… sheesh!

  • South Elgin John

    I don’t get what is going on here. Last year Wood was all insistent on wanting to be a Cub and ending his career here in Chicago. The Cubs offered him one mil and he took it. So what is the problem now? One of these sides isn’t offering truthful information to the public. I can’t see why Wood would suddenly want a ton more of cash this season as opposed to last. He is no dummy, he knows what Theo and the boys are trying to accomplish and build here. Why would he suddenly try to stick up the Cubs for more cash knowing their current attitude? Now as for the Cubs, it is well known that Wood wants to be known as a Cub once his days are done and that he will play for reduced money. He is still serviceable and let’s face it he helps sell tickets and sell the Cubs. So if the Cubs are offering 3 mil like is being reported what is the problem? Someone is not telling the truth here and it is too bad because up to now the last couple of months of Cub activity has been outstanding and a welcome change in the opinion of this Cub fan. I hope they get this figured out because I would really love to see Wood retire a Cub. But if he has turned greedy all of a sudden (which I seriously doubt) they fine let him go.

  • missy

    Please, if you don’t keep woodsy, then you have to get a hispanic. Which means mrs. ryno sandberg will have sex and the team will lose. Keep the Cubs white.


    Pitcher “Y” with “Z-type” assets and “X” amount of years is entitled to a specific amount of compensation.
    And, don’t worry, M.F., the Bears HAVE TO see you eye-to-eye with this one. Running eighty percent of your workload through “the gauntlet?”–don’t worry about it. . . .
    The Cubs need to take a chance with Samardzija.

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