Travis Wood’s Cubs Departure

Travis Wood's Cubs Departure

Matt Belinson, Reporter

Major League Baseball is full of talent, and the pitchers on all teams are the biggest commodities.

    With the start of the 2017 season starting soon, the Chicago Cubs are returning to the field as World Series Champions. The Cubs roster is virtually the same, with the only leaving players being Jorge Soler, Aroldis Chapman and Cole Hamil. The Cubs should have a priority list for the next year and the years to come, but first Travis Wood needs to be discussed.

     Travis Wood, a now former Chicago Cub’s pitcher, has been signed by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals have now bounced back from the Cubs decision to grab Wade Davis from them. Travis was one of two players on the roster who was with the Cubbies in the bad times. Travis was seen as a producer and a valuable starter. In 2016, Travis posted a 2.95 ERA and was placed in the bullpen as a mid-inning reliever. Wood was important to the Cubs and now is on the Royals. They valued his talent.

     The Chicago Cubs need to realize that pitching rules the MLB. The 2016 rotation was packed with two CY Young candidates, a 2015 CY Young winner, and a veteran with over four years of playoff experience. Some of those pitchers will return after this season, but the Cubs need to worry about pitching, not young offensive talent. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez are not going anywhere. Pitching keeps teams in playoff contention, because any MLB team can hit.

     Why would the Cubs not value Wood enough to keep him at least one more season? His versatility to pitch longer innings is so important. Resting your starters is a key managerial move. Travis Wood was one thing the Cubs had to bring back for the 2017 season. They didn’t value his importance enough. The Cubs did offer the pitcher two deals, but they were very cheap. Travis Wood was here to provide pitching when the Cubs were good and bad. He worked hard for the organization.

     After the 2017 season, the Cubs must keep as many pitchers as possible. Starting and bullpen pitchers provide credibility in the league. John Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey will be free agents sooner than fans might think. Carl Edwards Jr, Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop and Mike Montgomery need to be seen as equal priority. A club’s pitching staff can determine who can go deep in the playoffs, not offensive power The Cubs are not in panic mode, but they have to value pitching next season.