Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
Posted 1:27 PM Updated 1:52 PM
The Cubs are nearing an agreement with Kerry Wood that would bring back a clubhouse leader and address their need for bullpen help.
Comcast SportsNet's David Kaplan first reported Wednesday night, a deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the week. Wood enjoys a strong relationship with general manager Jim Hendry and is making Chicago his permanent home.
Those factors should help a Cubs team that has been looking for a right-handed reliever to pair with lefty Sean Marshall and closer Carlos Marmol during end-game situations.
Wood who played 10 seasons in Chicago and will turn 34 in June has reinvented himself late in his career. He is a specialist, not the kid who struck out 20 in his fifth major-league start. The Cubs know all about his checkered medical history, but he excelled last season after a deadline trade from Cleveland to New York.
In the heat of a playoff race, Wood posted a 0.69 ERA across 24 games with the Yankees. He allowed only two runs in eight postseason innings, positioning himself nicely for free agency. He could have been a difference-maker for the Yankees, Red Sox or any other contender, but it appears that he wants to go home again.
Bill Dancy who spent more than three decades working in the Phillies and Royals organizations will take over for Ryne Sandberg as manager at Triple-A Iowa.
As part of the minor-league staff changes announced Thursday, Brian Harper, the catcher on the 1991 Twins World Series team, will replace Dancy as Double-A Tennessee manager. Mariano Duncan who was a part of the Dodgers major-league staff last season will be Tennessees hitting coach.
Former Cubs Jeff Fassero (Class-A Peoria pitching coach), Frank Castillo (Rookie-Mesa pitching coach) and Jason Dubois (Mesa hitting coach) have positions within the organization. Dennis Lewallyn (pitching) and Tom Beyers (hitting) were promoted to minor-league coordinators.
CSNChicago.coms Patrick Mooney contributed to this report.