The Cubs recently cut ties with reliever Kerry Wood.
To that, I say, make a run on him.
Last season Wood pitched beyond expectations as closer/setup man. He recorded a 3.26 ERA, going 5-4 with 34 saves in 65 games with the Cubs last season. He was equally effective against lefties and righties, as both hit under .230 against him. He walked just 18 batters, while striking out 42.
Now, Wood might be more inclined to close games, and obviously, there’s no room for him to do so for the Phillies. But as the primary eighth-inning setup man, Wood would lock it down behind Brad Lidge and keep rising star Ryan Madson away from too much exposure. And it would make JC Romero the star LOOGY he’s supposed to be.
A Wood deal would also close down the pitching needs. With Wood on board, if the Phillies really needed a starter, they could move him back into a rotation spot. Or, midseason, they can flip longterm-deal-seeking Madson for a starter.
In fact, they could swap Madson before the season, if they were so inclined.
Potential problems linger, such as a history of injuries and a fat contract (I’m thinking 3Y/$30M), but Wood could be the overall piece that gives the Phillies the most secure pitching staff in baseball.