The Rundown: Cubs Make Offers to Wood, Eovaldi to Rays, Phillips to Braves, Thor Bulks Up

Lots of action from around the league as we close in on reporting dates, so I’m going to look briefly at a bunch of different things. Since it’s such a short ride, I’ll give everyone a fast pass and get you right to the meat and potatoes.

Cubs have made offers to Travis Wood, three other teams in mix

This is pretty much exactly what we’ve been saying the whole time, at least when it comes to what Wood’s role would be with the Cubs and other teams. Given his stated desire to start, it still seems really unlikely to me that the lefty returns to Chicago. But who knows, maybe the lure of success is stronger than the sun and surf of San Diego.

The interesting thing here is the “offers” part, notably that the Cubs may have made more than one pitch to Wood. Does that mean they threw out one number and then upped it amid increased demand or that they put a couple different options out there, each a different combination of salary and incentives? I’m guessing the latter.

Nathan Eovaldi signs in Tampa

Though I’ve always been leery of the hard-throwing righty’s ability to put it all together, Nathan Eovaldi has long been in intriguing arm. Despite averaging 97 mph on his fastball last season, Eovaldi didn’t strike out too many hitters (7.0 K/9) and gave up entirely too many longballs (1.66 HR/9). That all led to a 4.76 ERA (4.98 FIP) that might have been enough to spur the Yankees to release him in November all on its own.

The real impetus, however, was an elbow injury that led to the 27-year-old’s (his b-day is actually V-day in case there are sticklers out there) second Tommy John surgery. Even though he probably won’t pitch next season, is the Rays saw fit to sign him for $2 million in 2017 with a club option for 2018, which seems a little odd. Then again, that salary is basically pocket change and serves as a nice placeholder as Tampa monitors Eovaldi’s progress.

I was hoping for a while that the Cubs would be in on this guy, what with his big arm and potential to bounce back in a new environment. Alas, that wasn’t to be.

Brandon Phillips accepts trade to Braves

I am still a little perplexed that Phillips nixed a trade to Washington last season, though I suppose he might have wanted more guaranteed time on the deck of Cincy’s sinking ship. The tide has turned in the time since, and Phillips, a Georgia native, may have recognized an opportunity to see the field more while getting closer to home.

The door for BP to get more PT opened when it was found that Sean Rodriguez would need shoulder surgery after being injured in a car crash in January. I’ve poked more than my share of fun at the dude who sparred with a Gatorade jug in the 2015 Wild Card game, but this is serious stuff. Rodriguez is expected to be out 3-5 months, though I’m sure he’s more concerned with the health of his wife and two children, all of whom were hospitalized at least temporarily following the crash.

Thor wants to throw harder

Noah Syndergaard reported to Mets camp with an additional 17 pounds of muscle — which is an oddly specific figure — and a claim that he’s going to try to throw even harder in 2017. That’s saying something for a guy whose fastball averaged 98 mph last year. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this, as he was already a fun pitcher to watch. Well, when he’s not facing your team. I’ll never forget sitting right behind home plate and watching him pop the catcher’s mitt against overmatched AAA hitters.

More notes

  • Mike Matheny mad at media and the facts they dare to reference
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