At this point of the offseason, its pretty clear that the Cubs are in full rebuilding mode. The Cubs have spent the last couple of months trying to rid themselves of bloated contracts (Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano) or trying to trade their valuable commodities (Sean Marshall, Matt Garza) for prospects.
So, with the direction the Cubs are headed, its hard to understand the Cubs wanting to sign Kerry Wood. At this point, Wood is considered a luxury, not a necessity. Its not like he's going to magically propel the Cubs into contention.
After giving the Cubs a hometown discount last year and signing for a below market rate, Wood is looking to get market value this offseason. Based on free agent signings so far, Wood would probably require around $3-5 million annually for 1-2 years.
After trading setup man Sean Marshall, who was in line to earn $3.1 million in 2012, I have a hard time seeing the Cubs signing Wood for around the same amount. Perhaps Theo Epstein is thinking that they could sign Wood to a two year deal and then trade him next offseason for prospects. However, I tend to think that Wood is going to want a no-trade clause in his contract, should he sign with the Cubs.
Signing Wood would give the Cubs an experienced man in the pen who could perhaps help mentor the younger pitchers and bridge the gap. But it would also take away an opportunity for someone like Chris Carpenter or Rafael Dolis to get experience at the major league level.
I would rather see the Cubs use the money elsewhere, as, to me at least, spending $3-4 million on a reliever for a non-contending team just doesn't make sense.