Travis Wood to Royals: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2017

Chicago Cubs' Travis Wood throws before the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Free-agent pitcher Travis Wood has finally found a new home for 2017 after signing with the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals announced the deal Wednesday, noting Wood signed a two-year contract with a mutual option for a third season. Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported Wood will get $4 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 and that the option is worth $8 million with a $1.5 million buyout. 

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com first broke the news on Monday. 

Wood spent the last five seasons with the Chicago Cubs, winning a World Series with the team in 2016. He began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and was primarily a starting pitcher through the 2014 season. 

While Wood had moderate success as a starter, his permanent move to the bullpen in 2015 helped take his performance to another level. 

Travis Wood Career Splits
SplitGamesIPERAWHIPK-BB RatioK/9 IPOPS
As Starter133776.04.191.2932.257.1.725
As Reliever126124.02.831.1452.369.1.612
Source: Baseball-Reference.com

Even though his role as a reliever makes the most sense, Wood does at least have the history as a starter and versatility to pitch in at the back end of a rotation if a need arises. 

Because Wood only pitched 61 innings last season with the Cubs, it will take time for him to rebuild his arm where it's to the point he can handle starting every fifth day. He could begin the year as a multiple-inning swingman as preparation for the role.

The southpaw is the third Cub to bring championship experience to the Royals this offseason, joining outfielder Jorge Soler and starting pitcher Jason Hammel. Kansas City will look to rediscover those winning ways in 2017 after it missed the playoffs last year after two straight World Series appearances.

The Royals finished a disappointing 24th in the league in staff ERA against left-handed batters last season, per ESPN.com, but Wood held left-handers to a mere .128 batting average in 2016, per the same source. If he can replicate those numbers as a left-handed weapon, Kansas City will be much better prepared to compete in the American League Central.