The KC Royals continued a busy Monday by signing former Cubs hurler Travis Wood after inking former Cardinals reliever Seth Maness. Wood will compete for the fifth starter role as well as a bullpen spot.
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore added his second pitcher on Monday by agreeing to a two-year contract with free-agent lefty Travis Wood. Veteran baseball reporter Jerry Crasnick tweeted initial news of the signing:
Jon Heyman from Today’s Knuckleball at Fanrag.com indicated that the contract was a two-year, $12 million deal.
The 30-year-old Wood was something of a jack of all trades for the World Champion Chicago Cubs last season. He not only contributed as a reliever for Chicago, he also played left field in the playoffs. Wood appeared in 77 games in 2016, with a 2.95 ERA in 61.0 innings.
Wood appeared in 259 games for the Cubs over seven seasons, including 133 starts. He has compiled a 4.00 career ERA with 43-52 record. Wood also earned an All-Star nod in 2013 for his 9-13 season with a 3.11 ERA in 200.0 innings pitched as a member of the Chicago rotation.
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After indicating early this winter that the KC Royals couldn’t afford to pursue significant free-agents, Moore has signed his fourth player in the last week. Apparently, low market prices this winter combined with the need to recover from the loss of Yordano Ventura triggered something of a change in strategy this winter.
By adding Wood, the Kansas City Royals now have eight veteran options with recent starting rotation experience. That number goes to nine if you include minor-league reclamation project Jonathan Sanchez. One consequence of adding Travis Wood might be limiting rookies Matt Strahm and Kyle Zimmer into no more than bullpen roles in 2017. With veterans like Nate Karns, Mike Minor, Chris Young, and Travis Wood all vying for the fifth starter role, I don’t see how Strahm and Zimmer will get a shot at a starting job this season.
After adding both Travis Wood and Seth Maness on Monday, the Kansas City Royals now seem to have ample veteran candidates to fill both the rotation and bullpen.