The Tribe's deal for closer Kerry Wood is almost done. Wood is en route to Cleveland to complete a physical to complete the deal. Assuming Wood stays healthy (one trip to DL with Cubbies last year) he brings something the Tribe hasn't had at the back end of the bullpen since Jose Mesa. A Hard Thrower.
In 2008, the 30 year old Wood was 5-4 with 34 Saves and 6 blown saves. He had a 3.24 ERA with 84 K's to 18 walks.
It looks as if the Tribe's move to Goodyear, AZ has helped get this deal done. Granted they are offering him up to $10 million a year for two years, but Wood resides in Arizona, and the Tribe's brand new training complex in his backyard made it easy for Wood to join the Indians.
Props to Shapiro and Tribe management for dishing out some money to help a glaring need of this team. Jensen Lewis is a nice part of the bullpen, but not an option for closer.
In Other Hot Stove News:
The Tribe's depth at outfield is a little lighter this morning. Franklin Gutierrez, the light hitting corner outfield was part of a 12 man, 3 team trade where the Mets landed JJ Putz. The Tribe in return received 23 Year Old, left handed prospect 2B Luis Valbuena from Seattle and reliever Joe Smith from the Mets.
Smith is key in this trade. In 2008, his rookie year, the Cincinnati, Ohio native pitched in 82 games. He went 6-3 with 18 holds, a 3.55 ERA and 55 K's. He adds another young arm that will bulk up the middle of the bully.
A starter is also to be on Shapiro's wish list for this off season.