MLB.com's John Schlegel reports the Cleveland Indians have agreed to a two-year deal with closer Kerry Wood (Chicago Cubs). Wood joins a team that went 40-28 after the All-Star Game last season; they nearly emerged in the Wild Card race after trading away ace CC Sabathia and third baseman Casey Blake while slugging designated hitter Travis Hafner (shoulder) wasn't a factor all year.
Wood had a great year in his first season as a closer. He was 34-for-40 in save chances, had a decent 3.26 ERA and struck out 84 batters in 66 1/3 innings. He also limited his walks to 18 after struggling with control the majority of his career. Pitching in a new league could favor Wood's breaking pitches as he faces a lot of hitters for the first time.
The Indians have a young but solid offense and a somewhat promising starting rotation that could give Wood another 40-plus save chances if he stays healthy. While Wood probably won't be a sleeper next season, he could be a bargain on draft day with other big-name closers going ahead of him.
Wood's arrival likely moves reliever Jensen Lewis, who handled the closing duties late last season, back into a setup role. Lewis pitched fairly well last year, but he loses most of his fantasy value in mixed leagues as a setup man. He can still be serviceable in AL-only leagues given Wood's tendency to sustain an injury.
About Ryan Dodson
Dodson is a KFFL Contributor and has been with KFFL since 2002.
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