In the never-ending search for starting pitchers for the 2017 season, the San Diego Padres need to look everywhere.
They have already made several under-the-radar signings and claims that could pay dividends in the upcoming season.
Players like Tyrell Jenkins, Trevor Cahill, Rafael Ortega, Zach Lee, Christian Villanueva, and Jhoulys Chacin will be given every opportunity to earn playing time and possibly make a contribution to a season which is one of rebuilding and formulating.
The Padres will try to compete in 2017, but their young offense will surely be inconsistent and their lack of quality starting pitching could very easily be a problem for the young team.
There are some veteran pitchers out there that could help the team, and one in particular is left-handed hurler, Travis Wood. He will not come at a thrifty price though, as he has performed well recently and left-handed reliever-type pitchers are highly coveted at the moment.
It is that desire that might be intriguing for the Padres. If Wood’s contract demands reach an area in which A.J. Preller and the upper management can justify spending that kind of money, then he is well worth a look.
The left-hander made $6.175 million last year in a season where he went 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.131 WHIP in 77 games. It is safe to say he should get that type of money on a multi-year deal somewhere. You are looking at $12-15 million for Wood on a two-year deal at the very least (or at least that what the market dictates). Lefty Brett Cecil received a four-year deal for $30.5 million dollars from the Cardinals on the free agent market this winter. He is one year older than Wood and has a higher lifetime ERA, so its safe to say that Brett Cecil got a really good deal. Here are Travis Wood’s career stats.
Spending $12-15 million right now on a pitcher seems outrageous for a Padres’ team that is currently a couple of years away from competing. That is about what fair market value dictates for Wood, but it is possible he signs for less as the market is currently drying up now that it is late January. If the Padres can sign him at a decent price, he is a likely candidate to be flipped come July when teams are looking for veterans for the playoff push.
Travis Wood has started before, and that is also a possibility for the Friars. He started the majority of the time for his first five seasons. He started 32 games for the Cubs in 2013 and was an all-star that year, going 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP. The next season he started 31 games for the Cubbies, but his ERA climbed to 5.03 and the team decided to put him in the bullpen for the 2015 season. He has been there ever since and has been pretty effective. You have to wonder if he wants to start though, and the Padres provide that opportunity. He would have to leave a lot of money on the table in the short time, but if Wood can transition back to a viable major league starter, he will cash in eventually.
He is also one of the best hitting pitchers in the league, so that would be fun to watch. Wood has nine career home runs in 280 at bats and has surprising pop from the right side of the batters box. He hasn’t had many plate appearances in recent seasons, but Wood did put up a 1.0 WAR rating with his 56 at bats in 2014. The man can swing the lumber and could be valuable in that regard to a N.L. team.
Ultimately, Travis Wood’s value outweighs what the Padres are presently prepared to pay for pitching help, although the ability to start every five days could be enticing to the left-handed pitcher. A.J. Preller will explore every option this spring, and if Wood is having trouble finding work around the first few weeks of February, he could get a call from the club. The Padres have nothing to lose.