Nearly a decade since he burst onto the scene with a 20 strikeout game in just his fifth big league start, Kerry Wood has assumed a new role with the Chicago Cubs. The injury-plagued hurler signed a one-year, $4.2 million deal to be the club’s new closer. Wood said he is excited for the new opportunity, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The right-hander has struggled with elbow and shoulder injuries throughout his career and has not pitched a full season since 2003. Due to his medical history the deal includes major incentives for number of games finished. Wood first threw out of the bullpen in 2005 and, after missing nearly all of the 2006 season, pitched exclusively in relief this past season.