Could Kerry Wood Return?: Cubs vs. Brewers at Mesa, Tuesday 3/9, 2:05 CT

We all know the Cubs need bullpen help.

We also know the Cleveland Indians are probably not going anywhere this year and probably would like to get rid of Kerry Wood's contract, which calls for him to be paid $10.5 million this year, and $11 million in 2011 if he has 55 games finished this season (otherwise, the $11m becomes a club option).

We also know that the Cubs don't have a whole lot of payroll space. But could the Cubs bring Wood back in the 8th-inning role -- with the possibility of him being available to close if Carlos Marmol fails -- if the Tribe would eat a large portion of that deal? If Wood were a setup man, he wouldn't have 55 games finished (he had 50 last year as a closer, and 56 as Cubs closer in 2008).

Or -- now here's something you'd probably all be in favor of -- could the Cubs and Indians trade contracts? Could Carlos Silva be of interest to Cleveland?

George Castle says "bring him back":
Wood’s veteran stature, his knowledge of the pressure surrounding all things Cub and the fact he won’t wet his pants in a tight spot in the eighth make him the best man for the job now. His motivation would be unquestioned, and he’d be coming home after having moved here full-time from longtime quarters in the Phoenix area.

Carol Slezak in the Sun-Times, though, says Wood's too expensive:

Wood is coming off a pretty good season, and bullpen help is hard to find. But it's so like Cubs fans to think that a sentimental favorite can return to Wrigley Field and save the day. So let's nip this one in the bud, OK? Because the Cubs aren't about to spend $10.5 million on anyone -- let alone a player with a lengthy history of injuries.

Again, maybe the money could be negotiated -- and the "lengthy history of injuries" ended for Wood in 2007. His DL time in 2008 was for a blister, not arm-related trouble, and he was healthy in 2009. Despite numbers that don't look that great for 2009, Wood was pitching for a much poorer team last year than he did in 2008, often going several days without a save opportunity, and his numbers from July 1 to the end of the season were solid and not dissimilar to his 2008 performance.

If the money issue can be solved, this is the right move to make. Bring him back, Jim.

On to today's game after the jump.

Randy Wells makes his second start of the spring, so I assume he'll be going three innings today. We may see some of the relievers who were going to go in the split-squad games on Sunday. Jeff Suppan will start for the Brewers.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie:

SS Theriot, RF Fukudome, 1B Lee, 3B Ramirez, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, 2B Fontenot, C Soto, P Wells

Today's game is on WGN radio with Pat & Ron. If you have MLB Audio, you can listen to that or the MLB.com broadcast. Here's the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

SB Nation game preview

First pitch thread will post at 2 pm CST. An overflow thread will post at 3:15 CST.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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