Quality starters are more important than closers, and harder to come by too, which means Jim Hendry’s decision not to resign Kerry Wood is the right move.
The club’s focus should be on improving the rotation and making all moves necessary to land current Padre Jake Peavy in a trade.
Sure, Woody is a fan favorite -and now formerly- the longest tenured Cub on the roster.
But why chance signing Wood to a long term deal with his lengthy history of arm problems, let another team take that risk.
Of course, the Cubs’ trade this afternoon for former Marlin Kevin Gregg all but seals Wood’s fate as a Chicago Cub.
The acquisition of Gregg is two-fold: he’s either the Cubs’ closer in 2009 or possible trade bait to San Diego -who’s looking to replace closer Trevor Hoffman- in a deal for Peavy.
My guess says Gregg stays with the Cubs and closes out games behind Carlos Marmol next season.
More important than resigning Wood, the Cubs still need a left-handed power bat in the lineup.
Thus, letting Woody go frees up enough dough for the club to seek out the best possible free agent to fill the left-handed need.
There’s no doubt in my mind Wood ends up with a 3-year deal to close somewhere next season.
Early predictions: the Milwaukee Brewers, Sabathia will be long gone and the Brew Crew will have the finances to land Kerry.