Tigers looking at Wood?

Earlier today I lamented the type of players that the Tigers were being associated with. Mostly guys that were kind of blah. I also worried about the team’s financial situation given the Renteria and Wilson discussion. Perhaps my disappointment was premature, as there are reports that the Tigers are looking at Kerry Wood.

While happy at the thought of the Tigers pursuing someone who for his career has fanned 10.39 batters per nine innings, I’m also surprised in that earlier Dave Dombrowski said that Wood was out of the Tigers price range. But perhaps the recession is working in the Tigers favor in this case as Wood is only expecting a 2 year deal with a 3rd year vesting option.

Now the vesting part is important because Wood’s career has been severely hampered by injuries. If he’s healthy that the third year shouldn’t be a problem. But if injuries slow him any damage would be limited to 2010.

If the Tigers could add Kerry Wood, and maybe Brandon Lyon, now we’re talking a decent pen. If this is the reallocation of shortstop dollars, I’m on board. Of course these are just rumors of interest at this point, but it’s nice to be in on a good player.


  1. David

    December 5, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Wood is a good player, I wonder how much he’d cost?

  2. Ryan

    December 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Joel and Fernando, you are officially on notice.

  3. Walt

    December 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I wonder if we could get him for something like 2 years for 16M. Make the second year worth a little more to make it it a little easier until Sheff comes off the books.

  4. Dave BW

    December 5, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    The Tigers have finally begun to listen to me.

  5. Mark in Chicago

    December 5, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I’d be surprised if it happens given the dollars involved, although maybe all the Wilson talks were simply a smokescreen to drive down the price of another shortstop.

    I’m on board to add Wood, and while his health has far from perfect, he was better last year with limited innings.

  6. Fritz

    December 5, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Thoughts of Wood, Lyon and Everett are a nice way to end the week.

  7. Ryan

    December 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I don’t think signing him ends up being that expensive. With, by my count, only four to six teams (DET, CLE, NYM, MIL, maybe TB, maybe CIN) inclined to spend big(ish) money on a closer, and K-Rod, Fuentes, Wood, and Cordero all being FAs, and B.J. Ryan and Valverde possible trade targets, I think the closer market is significantly slanted towards buyers. Maybe something like 3 yr/$16 mill with another $8 mill in incentives would be enough.

  8. Barry

    December 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    I really excited about Wood. He had three great pitches. Woods might come because Chicago is not far from Detroit. I figure he has a family. You can keep Lyons, though.

  9. Kyle J

    December 5, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    84-18 K-BB ratio this past season.

    That’s definitely worth at least a few Benjamins.

  10. David

    December 5, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    How about Wood, Lyon and Everett as our big free agent signings? Then maybe throw in a trade for Laird or Montero and we’re in a good position.

  11. sean

    December 6, 2008 at 7:47 am


    This will make me a happy camper.

  12. Motor City Bengals

    December 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

    As much as I believe that Wood is not worth the money teams are going to invest, I think he would be a good pickup this season. I profiled Wood’s performance a few weeks ago, in anticipation that the Tigers might ‘talk’ to his agent. Even if they didn’t add a Brandon Lyon, this could be a significant move.

  13. Rick G

    December 6, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    If the Tigers get Wood, so do I.

  14. Smoking Loon

    December 6, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    “The Tigers have finally begun to listen to me.’

    If that’s true, tell them to go get Blanco, too, unless he’s already resigned with the Cubs.

    The Wood news is good news. If the Tigers can sign their way instead of trade their way to improvement in the Three True Areas, I’m all for it. However, I don’t think Wood is $8MM a year good. Hoffman (still available, presumably?) at $7MM for one year is more sensible than that, I think.

  15. Andre in Chicago

    December 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm


    i agree with you that, at the moment, Hoffman seems to be a better move @ 7mil. i think the rest of the market might think so too, which is why i’m possibly counter intuitive in my reasoning to get Wood now @ 8mil.

    more teams are likely (?) to be in the market for Hoffman right? so our chances might not be as good at getting the best value. preemptively going for Wood now might cost an extra 1mil, but less teams are likely bidding, and once Hoffman is snapped up, Wood’s price goes up as the number of suitors goes up, right?

  16. ivantopumpyouup

    December 6, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I can get down with Kerry Wood. As long as they give him the kind of contract Pudge and Magglio got with injury clauses.

  17. Smoking Loon

    December 6, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    You’re right, Andre – Wood at $8MM now could be a bargain compared to where things might go. Then again, if economic uncertainty is really going to put a damper on the free spending in MLB this offseason, maybe the bidding war for closers is going to have a lower ceiling than we think. I don’t know what the best strategy is for a team in that case. Wait it out, don’t move too soon? Let the spenders overspend and then snap up the bargains?

    Aside from the money issues, I’d still have to go with… Hoffman. As a better fit for the Tigers projected 2009-2010 situation.

  18. Dave BW

    December 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Loon, why don’t you just MARRY Hoffman?!?

  19. rings

    December 6, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Convert Bonderman into a closer.
    He’s already under contract, he has the perfect arsenal, its better for his arm and he can throw harder in shorter stints.

  20. David

    December 7, 2008 at 4:05 am

    Why not get Wood and Hoffman both?
    Wood can start, Hoffman can close

    In reality – which is where we all live – we’ve gotten rid of Rogers salary, Jones, Pudges/Farnsworth, Rentarias…granted some are going up slightly Granderson, Willis and some down Guillen

    But still, we should be able to spend the 8mil on Rogers and 7mil on Jones and try to get another starter and closer for ~ that much, maybe use more and divert less to SS and pick up a guy like (or even) Adam Everett for less

    If all they do is pick up a closer and don’t do anything to the starting pitching this team is in trouble, at least one solid possible starter would help solidify a very shaky rotation in my mind.
    Plus we’ve got to see what happens with the Big Three, and the economy…

    If you are just looking at Wood vs Hoffman for closer its tough.

    Hoffman is more of a pitcher – but he is also ancient/old/close to death choose your adjective…

    Wood probably has more stuff and is much younger and should be able to “produce” for awhile sans injury….

    Still we’ve got to wait and see what direction this team is headed in…

    IF I ASKED YOU RIGHT NOW – how many quality starts would Bonderman, Verlander or Galaraga throw would you have a good educated guess?

    What is Willis going to be – control or no? Or Robertson – is he finally going to be decent after the ASB or is he going to flail once more? Is Zumaya going to be healthy for a full season? How about Rodney?

    Where does Miner fit in? Is he the fourth or fifth starter?

    That’s just the pitching….

    But, as we all know pitching is what wins – IMO if they don’t go out and get AT LEAST two “good” (not great) but “good” pitchers one for both the rotation and the pen (hopefully more) in my opinion they are cooked!

  21. David

    December 7, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Rings if Bondo’s a closer – who in Ty Cobb will start?

    Plus if you have any stock in what DD and Leyland say (hmmmm….) He is pretty much been given a starting spot along with AG and JV

    We need SP, plus if he’s a closer usually his only inning is his first inning 😉

    If pitchers were actually good as they were in Ty Cobbs day they’d go the whole game – no closers usually

    How can guys nowdays pitch 150-160 innings and get 33 starts?

    Plus these 5 man rotations – what a bunch of homer happy babies

  22. rings

    December 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

    David – Bonderman didn’t start nearly all of last year, and magically, we found someone to take the bump each year, including a guy (Galaragga), who we’d never heard of, who turned out pretty good and another (Minor) we’d forgotten about who managed just fine. Are you DEPENDING on Bonderman this year??? If we are, then our chances are probably already slim…we’re already counting on JV to rebound, Nate to rebound, Bonderman to be healthy and rebound, Minor and Galarraga to have good seasons again and Willis to suddenly regain his form? There’s a lot of “ifs” there and most of them will not happen. If fact, one can probably guarantee that we’ll have a couple new starters before 2009 is over. That said, the rotation, while not great, did not hurt us last year nearly as much as the lack of a bullpen did.
    My point is, that Bonderman has been a starter for 6 years now and has never managed to stay completely healthy for a season, has never turned his potential into consistent performance…and will be paid more and more as a starter going forward after his current contract is done. As a homegrown Tiger, many fans will disagree with me, but I don’t think he’ll EVER be more than a #3 type guy at best as a starter, who’ll always battle inconsistency and injury.
    On the other hand, his lack of a third pitch does not hurt him as a closer and it has the potential to be less taxing on his arm. He repertoire is classic closer stuff with a fastball and lethal slider. IF he can focus enough to make his pitches in pressure situations, which I think he could, he has potential to be more consistent and a very good, if not outstanding, reliever.

  23. billfer

    December 7, 2008 at 10:16 am

    @rings –

    Yes someone took the mound, but the Tigers had one of the worst staffs in the majors so I don’t know that’s a valid argument. I guess I’d prefer to see Robertson tried as a closer before Bonderman.

    @david –
    The Tigers have about $25- 30 million to fill 15 roster spots with over $100 million already committed to just 10 players this year. And that doesn’t include Justin Verlander who will get arbitration this year. They just don’t have the money to go and get a lot of players.

  24. Smoking Loon

    December 7, 2008 at 10:31 am


    Bonderman as closer: What about his well-known 1st inning hang-up, though? He’s not known for being cool as a cucumber in pressure situations, either. I should talk, though. I’m in favor of either getting Zumaya ready to start or trading him and being done with it (“it” being the endless waiting for health and a return to form, much like the Cub’ travails with Messr. Wood).

  25. Smoking Loon

    December 7, 2008 at 10:38 am

    “Loon, why don’t you just MARRY Hoffman?!?”

    Dave, I think I’ll just make him my heterosexual life partner. We can double-date with you and Greinke.

    Seriously, I’ve been more interested in guys like J.J. Putz and Matt Capps than Hoffman or Wood. I like the idea of Kerry Wood as a Tiger the way some people liked the idea of Rafael Furcal as a Tiger. A wondrous dream with too many risks. I support bringing in Trevor Hoffman the way I’d support bringing in Adam Everett. Low risk, no trade required, fits the immediate need.

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