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Cubs, Wood Agree to One-Year Deal

January 15, 2003

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CHICAGO (AP) _ The Chicago Cubs avoided salary arbitration with Kerry Wood on Wednesday, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the right-hander worth more than $6 million.

After battling injuries his first four years, the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year pitched a complete season in 2002. He went 12-11 with a 3.66 ERA, and had 217 strikeouts and four complete games in 33 starts, a career high.

His 217 strikeouts were third-best in the NL, and gave him 200 strikeouts for three of his first four seasons.

He’s also the first Cub with back-to-back 200-strikeout seasons since Fergie Jenkins from 1967-71.

Eligible for arbitration, Wood stood to get a raise from the $3,695,000 he made last season. His new deal with the Cubs will pay him between $6.1 million and $6.2 million, and a long-term deal with the Cubs is still a possibility.

In four seasons, Wood is 45-30 with a 3.75 ERA and 799 strikeouts. He’s held batters to a .211 average, and averages 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

He tied a major league record in his fifth career start by striking out 20 against Houston in 1998.

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