Just as we all suspected.
The Chicago Cubs and Kerry Wood reached an agreement in the minutes before the Cubs Convention's opening ceremonies, and announced the deal to an "insane ovation," according to Dave Kaplan via Twitter.
The deal is worth $3 million for one year, with a club option for 2013.
Wood posted a 3.35 ERA with 57 strikeouts over 51 innings in 2011.
Wood really had us going these past few weeks, leading many to believe that the Philadelphia Phillies or even the Boston Red Sox may be signing him away. It appears that Wood may have been leading them on in order to get the Cubs to offer a reasonable deal.
What he said today was, "I feel like I've been within minutes of being with four different teams the last week, so things change by the minute."
To be honest, I'm really not buying it.
Theo Epstein and the Cubs front office were very busy this offseason, and Wood likely told them at its onset to get done what has to be done, and then we'll work on the deal. That may not have been common knowledge to rest of the league, which after a while started checking in on the above-average reliever.
One thing leads to another, an intuitive reporter gets a tip, and boom—Kerry Wood is going to the Phillies. With the Cubs' offseason agenda beginning to look towards spring training, the Cubs and Wood were able to begin discussions on a deal. When reports surfaced that talks weren't going anywhere—perhaps because both sides were keeping mum on the issue—people started to worry.
With Wood and Epstein catching the ire of Cubs fans over the lack of a move, they likely decided that announcing it at the Cubs convention would get Cubs fans really excited about the team as well as remove the weight fans have been carrying around with them this month believing that at any moment Wood could be elsewhere.
The Cubs brass knew better than anyone that not signing Wood would make Cubs fans very upset. Especially because he can still be an asset to the team going forward.