Finally, Jim Hendry has signed a decent free agent without overspending.
Today it was announced that the Cubs have agreed to terms with Kerry Wood on a one year, $1.5 million contract. After years of overspending (remember John Grabow's 2 year, $7.5 million contract?), Jim Hendry finally found a way to acquire a free agent without overspending. Perhaps Wood gave the Cubs a home-town discount, but in any case this is a good signing for Hendry and the Cubs.
Wood, who reinvented himself as a reliever in 2007 after injuries derailed his career as a starter, returns to the Cubs after a 2 year hiatus. He will serve as Carlos Marmol's setup man and possible fallback option, should Marmol experience the wildness he has in the past.
Also, with the Wood signing, Hendry has completed two of the three objectives he laid out for himself this offseason. He has acquired a first baseman and a righthanded setup man. All he has left now is to acquire a starting pitcher. Assuming the reports of Hendry having around $10 million to spend this offseason are true, Hendry has spend $6.5 million so far (with $5 million of Carlos Pena's $10 million contract deferred to 2012), leaving around $3.5 million to spend. I'm not sure if that will be enough to land someone like Brandon Webb, but it might be enough to land Jeff Francis.
At this rate, Hendry should complete his offseason shopping in time for Christmas.