Siberian Baseball

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cubs no longer "got wood"

Not quite a year after I wrote this, the Kerry Wood era has ended in Chicago. Well, on the North Side, at least. There's no telling what Kenny Williams will do next after trading last year's big signing. (More on that later.)

This morning, the Cubs made a move for Florida's Kevin Gregg for a minor leaguer and parted ways with Wood just after lunchtime. Presumably, this means Carlos Marmol becomes the closer and that Gregg becomes the setup man who can move to a closer role if Marmol stumbles.

All of this means that Wood will be pitching somewhere else next season.

While my man-love of Wood (wait, that sounds bad...) is well-documented here, he leaves on a high note after returning from his endless trip to the DL, an All-Star selection and finishing fourth in saves for National League pitchers last year.

"We’re just in a situation, as Kerry fully understands, that that length of deal, for the kind of salary he’d command right now, is not our first priority. We certainly have to finish our rotation, we have offensive situations to address, and by having the prominence that (Carlos) Marmol now brings to the table, it certainly doesn’t come before the other needs we have. We felt it was time Kerry goes out and does what’s best for him and his family, and gets a huge multi-year deal if possible."

On the South Side, the White Sox traded away Nick Swisher, the switch-hitting fountain of awesome that GM Kenny Williams had to have last year.

Wait, make that - Had. To. Have. (Last year.)

To the point that he pried him from Oakland for the most promising part of the Chicago farm system. Yeah, that guy? He's gone now.

The Yankees swapped Wilson Betemit and minor league pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez in exchange for Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira.

(And what's up with another Jhonny in the majors? I thought Peralta was the only one ever. Now we have two in baseball?)

I think that the Swisher experiment - which according to the sidebar on ESPN says that he had the lowest batting average of any player with a qualifying number of at bats (502... uh why is that the number?) - is the equivalent of losing your shirt while flipping a house.

You bought the house because you could, but never really kept it long enough to turn any sort of profit.

Note: While I don't share the sentiment on Wood's long-term prospects as the answer to the closer problem for the Cubs put forth by Steve Rosenbloom, I do share this view:

I’ll miss the guy. I’ll miss his story. I’ll miss the big sound of Wrigley when he entered a game and the bigger one when he ended it.

(Image taken for Siberian Baseball)

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