Francisco Rodriguez became the first top-tier free agent to reach an agreement when he decided to join the New York Mets, while longtime Cub Kerry Wood appeared to be on the verge of striking a deal with the Cleveland Indians. Coming off a record 62 saves for the Los Angeles Angels, Rodriguez reached a preliminary agreement on a $37 million, three-year contract with the Mets, who are desperate for bullpen help.
Cleveland was closing in on a two-year contract with Wood, the former starter-turned-reliever, said a person familiar with that deal. Wood, who has had numerous injury problems in the past, also needs to pass a physical before the deal can be completed. Other high-profile free agents are taking longer to determine their market value. AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe likely will wait for CC Sabathia to make a decision.