Dodgers are bringing back pitcher Alex Wood on a one-year contract
After a year apart, the Dodgers and Alex Wood are back together.
The Dodgers and the left-handed pitcher agreed to a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the situation said Sunday. The deal is worth $4 million guaranteed and includes incentives that could boost Wood’s salary to $10 million.
Wood returns to Los Angeles after the Dodgers traded him to the Cincinnati Reds last offseason as part of a salary-dumping package that included Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.
His stint with the Reds was injury-marred.
Wood, who turned 29 on Sunday, dealt with back trouble the entire season, beginning in spring training. He started the season on the injured list. He was activated in late July, but made only seven starts before his season ended in September. He had a 5.80 earned-run average and gave up 11 home runs over 35 2/3 innings.
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He returns with a chance to crack the Dodgers rotation after being a steady presence in the group for parts of four seasons. Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Julio Urías are projected as locks for the rotation. Ross Stripling, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Wood and Jimmy Nelson, signed last week, are other options.
Wood enjoyed his best year as a Dodger in 2017 when he was 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and was on the National League All-Star team. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the World Series that October.
He is the third free agent the Dodgers have signed this offseason, joining right-handers Blake Treinen and Nelson. All are on one-year contracts. It’s a low-risk, high-reward approach the Dodgers have taken in free agency after missing out on the top free agents, namely Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, in this winter’s class.
Treinen will slide into a setup role. Nelson will get the opportunity to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, but could pitch out of the bullpen. The same can be said for Wood, who will look to rebound in a familiar setting.
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