It appears that my off-season dream for the Tigers has died. Kerry Wood, who would have been absolutely great at the end of the game for the Tigers, is on the verge of signing with the Cleveland Indians.
It has been reported that the Indians are offering Wood a two year deal to be their closer over the next couple of seasons. The Indians, like the Tigers have had a shaky closer situation the past two seasons. The Tigers “relied” on the Todd Jones while the Indians gave the ball to Joe Borowski to slam the door.
I don’t think Wood signing elsewhere would have upset me so much, but signing with a division rival just makes this one a little tougher to swallow. Instead of having Wood in the Tigers bullpen, they will now apparently have to face him at least ten times per season. Yikes.
I should stress that this deal is not a sure thing just yet. ESPNs, Peter Gammons says that the Indians are still talking to other alternatives. Rumors tend to run wild this time of year. However, I’m betting that this deal eventually gets done and that’s bad news for the Tigers.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reported yesterday that the Indians have already signed off on Wood’s less-that-stellar medical report and should announce the signing at some point today. Crap.
I am not quite sure where this leaves the Tigers and their closer situation. The top free agent closer available is Brian Fuentes of the Colorado Rockies. The Tigers had not been linked to Fuentes all year up until yesterday. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has noted that the Tigers are now interested in Fuentes. If these talks get more serious I’ll give up some information on Mr. Fuentes, for now this just appears to be at the rumor stage.