The Royals have agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with lefty Travis Wood, as first reported by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. FanRag’s Jon Heyman was first on the terms, adding that the deal includes an $8 million mutual option.
Wood will get a chance to compete for the fifth spot in the Royals’ rotation, joining Chris Young, Matt Strahm, Mike Minor and fellow newcomer Nate Karns as candidates behind Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Vargas and recent signee Jason Hammel. In the wake of the tragic death of Yordano Ventura, Kansas City has worked hard to accumulate rotation depth by signing both Hammel and Wood.
Wood drew strong interest from multiple clubs as both a starter and reliever, with the Cubs, Padres and Yankees all being linked in recent weeks. He will work out of the Royals’ bullpen if he does not crack the rotation, and is the third ex-Cub (joining Hammel and Jorge Soler) to join the Royals this winter.
Wood, who recently turned 30, is just the third starter to get a multi-year guarantee this winter, joining Hammel, Rich Hill (Dodgers), Charlie Morton (Astros), Ivan Nova (Pirates) and Edinson Volquez (Marlins).
Wood notched a solid 2.95 ERA and 6.9 K/9 in 61 innings over 77 relief appearances last year in Chicago, where he last appeared as a regular starter in 2014. For his career, he owns a 43-52 record and 4.00 ERA in 259 appearances (133 starts) for the Reds (2010-11) and Cubs (2012-16).