By Matt Snyder
It's been one of those "slow news days," but there have been a handful of minor moves and reports, so let's just grab a bunch and get them out in the open here.
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• First of all, this is far from minor, but my esteemed colleague Jon Heyman already blogged on it. Go check out his post on Ryan Madson and the Reds' interest -- along with several other teams still in the mix.
• It once seemed like a foregone conclusion that Kerry Wood would finish his MLB playing career with the Cubs after returning "home" last season, but it's at least a possibility that isn't necessarily the case now. From multiple different reports (MLBTradeRumors.com has them), the Phillies and Reds are also in on the bidding for Wood's services with the Cubs. The Reds would be out of the bidding if they sign either Madson or Francisco Cordero. Wood could serve as closer for the Reds with Sean Marshall setting up, while Wood would be a setup man in Philly for Jonathan Papelbon. Brad Lidge would be the other setup option for the Phillies, should they not sign Wood.
It's interesting that the Cubs want Wood back. Any other veteran is being allowed to walk via free agency or traded -- or at least being rumored to be on the trading block. Instead, general manager Jed Hoyer told XM Radio Tuesday that the Cubs have offered Wood a substantial raise to stay put. He is a special case, with his strong ties to Chicago and to the Cubs' organization. Cubs president Theo Epstein recently said Wood has the type of personality the Cubs hope will spread in the locker room. Wood will reportedly make a decision by Friday.
The situation seems to be one of those that is a catch-22 for Cubs fans. On one hand, Wood stands a much better chance of winning a World Series ring if he leaves -- considering the massive rebuild the Cubs are undertaking. On the other, he's a favorite son to fans of the franchise. If he does walk, I'd suggest Cubs fans hope he gets a ring in the next year or two much like Mark Grace got one with the Diamondbacks. If he does stay, that shows how strongly he feels like a Cub.
• Speaking of the Cubs, Alfonso Soriano is likely to open the season as the starting left fielder, reports CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman. Not for lack of trying, of course, it's just that with $54 million left on Soriano's colossal contract, the Cubs can't seem to find any takers willing to take on a decent portion of the remaining salary.
• The Red Sox signed starting pitcher Aaron Cook to a minor-league contract earlier this week. With injury woes in the rotation, this is merely an organizational depth signing and nothing more. There's no way it would preclude the Red Sox from making a trade for a starter or adding someone else -- like Hiroki Kuroda, who the Red Sox have reportedly discussed.
• Backup catcher Koyie Hill has signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
• Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez has avoided arbitration, signing a one-year deal worth about $2 million, reports Morosi.
• Relief pitcher Aaron Heilman has signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners, the team announced.
As for Prince Fielder, I've got nothing for you (that was done in my best Jeff Probst voice). I guess Prince has to sign with someone eventually, right?
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Quick hits: Madson, Wood, Cubs, more
Posted on: January 10, 2012 7:20 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 7:25 pm
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Heilman, AL East, AL West, Alfonso Soriano, Brewers, Cardinals, Carlos Gomez, Cubs, free agency, free agent tracker, Kerry Wood, Koyie Hill, Mariners, Matt Snyder, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, NL Central, Phillies, Prince Fielder, Red Sox, Reds