Cliff Corcoran of the excellent Pinstriped Bible checks in on Kerry Wood:
Kerry Wood posted a 1.344 WXRL and 0.69 ERA with the Yankees, but he also walked 18 men in 26 innings. He was lucky. Opponents hit .236 on balls in play against Wood after he came over from Cleveland, and just 3.1 percent of his fly balls left the ballpark, down from a career rate of 8.6 percent. Meanwhile, he gave up fly balls and line drives more often than he had previously in his career.
Wood’s high strikeout rates allow him to get away with more walks more than a less powerful pitcher could, but walking 5.7 men per nine innings, as Wood did in 2010, is playing with fire, and his home run rate is sure to shoot back up next year, particularly if he spends half of his home games pitching in the new Yankee Stadium. Wood will be 34 in June and has a extensive injury history, which begs an unwelcome comparison to Marte, who turned 34 soon after signing his current contract.
Cliff goes on to note that there are better and likely cheaper options available on the free agent market, and that the Yankees could fill bullpen roles internally as well. I am partial to Scott Downs, a lefty who can actually get righthanders out, which would give Girardi more options in the late innings. However, Downs is a Type-A free agent, which means that signing him would cost the Yankees a draft pick. This is the one advantage that Wood has over the free agent options, as he would not cost the Yankees picks should they resign him.
Nevertheless, I would pass on Kerry. I think Wood is likely to disappoint the team that inks him to a pricey two or three year deal this offseason. He has been worth more than .4 wins once since 2004, and his inability to stay healthy combined with the general volatility of relievers make him a poor investment. He simply puts too many runners on base to be trusted regularly in important spots. During the regular season, you do not want to be forced to use your closer to bail him out in the 8th inning of games in which he does not have his control. Someone will sign him to close, and the lack of a safety net will prove problematic when he start to walk the ballpark. The Yankees got an excellent few months out of Wood, and they should be content with that and walk away.
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