Kerry Wood was in Cleveland on Wednesday night to take the physical needed before he can finalize a two-year deal with the Indians worth about $20 million.
$10 million a year for Kerry Wood?! And I thought the K-Rod contract was excessive. Kerry Wood was a more valuable pitcher ($5.72 million) than Francisco Rodriguez ($4.62 million) in 2008, but he was limited by injuries during the four previous seasons. Assuming that Wood pitches exactly as he pitched in 2008, I estimate he will be worth approximately $6.5 million per season for the next two years. I reiterate: this assumes that one of the most injury-prone players in the league performs as he did last year. He made $4.2 million pitching for the Cubs last season, and the Cubs didn’t even offer him arbitration. Given his injury history, I think that was probably the right call.
I consider the Indians to be one of the smartest organizations in baseball—in my book I rate Cleveland to be the best-managed franchise in the American League—therefore, this move shocks me even more. What could be going on? I can think of only one explanation: Kerry Wood has been able to demonstrate such good health that teams think he can start. If Kerry Wood can get back to his 2002–2003 form he would be a $14 million/year pitcher over the next two seasons. Maybe his agent has been shopping his potential as a starter.