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REPORT: Cubs Set To Sign Kerry Wood

Reports from Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports and David Kaplan in the Chicago Tribune both state that the Cubs are "close" to re-signing former pitcher Kerry Wood, who has spent the last two years pitching for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

Wood will be 34 in June; no longer the "Kid K" who struck out 20 in his fifth big-league start on May 6, 1998, he has spent several years recovering from injuries. He nearly retired due to one injury in 2007, but after throwing pain-free decided to make one last comeback with the Cubs late that year. Installed as Cubs closer at the beginning of 2008 when Ryan Dempster returned to starting, Wood matched his well-known uniform number by posting 34 saves for a team that won 97 games, the most by a Cubs team since 1945.

After 2008, though, the Cubs decided to go with the younger Carlos Marmol as closer and Wood signed with the Indians as a free agent. He posted 20 saves in 2009 with the Tribe but often went 10 days or more without a save opportunity because the Indians were not a very good team. Starting 2010 on the DL with back problems, he was traded to the Yankees on July 31, 2010. Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland found some mechanical problems with Wood's delivery; fixing them, Wood became a lights-out setup man for Mariano Rivera and helped the Yankees to the playoffs.

The Cubs could use such a pitcher and this signing would be very popular with Cubs fans, who revere Wood. Wood is the only player since the 1940s to have four postseason appearances with the team. Stick with this SB Nation Chicago StoryStream™ for updates.