Wood and Indians finalize two-year deal
Kerry Wood wasn’t concerned the Cleveland Indians would find a red flag in his extensive medical records.
He was certain the elbow X-rays, MRI exam results on his shoulder and confidential documents would meet approval, clearing him to sign his first free-agent contract.
“With what I’ve gone through and what I’ve come back from, there was no doubt in my mind,” Wood said.
The former Chicago Cubs right-hander, who has revived his injury-riddled career as a reliever, finalized a $20.5-million, two-year deal with the Indians, whose high expectations in 2008 crashed in a succession of early-season blown saves by an underachieving and unpredictable bullpen.
In 10 years, Wood, who saved 34 games in his first season as the closer for Chicago, has gone from rising star to a question mark, from the front of the rotation to the back of the bullpen, and now from one league to the other.
He fell out of Chicago’s plans this fall, when the Cubs acquired reliever Kevin Gregg from the Florida Marlins as a setup man and moved Carlos Marmol to closer.
Wood, 31, gets $10 million next year and $10.5 million in 2010.
An $11-million option kicks in if Wood has 55 games finished in either of the next two years.
The Colorado Rockies and reliever Alan Embree agreed to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2010. Embree had a 2-5 record with a 4.96 earned-run average for the Oakland Athletics last season. . . . Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and the Kansas City Royals completed a $9.25-million, two-year contract. Traded July 30 from the New York Yankees to the Detroit Tigers for catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the hard-throwing right-hander was 2-3 with a 4.48 ERA and one save last season, then filed for free agency. . . . Outfielder Ryan Langerhans and infielder Pete Orr were among 13 players who agreed to minor league contracts with the Washington Nationals. Langerhans batted .234 with three homers and 12 runs batted in in 73 games last season for Washington. Orr batted .253 with seven RBIs for the Nationals.
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