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Where will Kerry Wood pitch next season?

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wood_20_strikeouts.jpg
A Lakers fan, a Rockets fan and two Phoenix Suns fans celebrate Kerry Wood's record-tying 20-strikeout performance against the Houston Astros May 6, 1998. (Sun-Times photo)

Some Cubs fans still can't believe that Kerry Wood will be a Cub no more.

Like it or not, that's the reality.

So which team will have Kid K in their bullpen next season?

Sporting News writer Gerry Fraley posits Arizona as a good fit for Wood:

"Arizona makes sense. Wood now lives in the Phoenix area, and the Diamondbacks are unsettled at closer. Free agent righthander Brandon Lyon, who closed for Arizona for most of the 2008 season, allows the ball to put be put in play too often, and he was terrible in the second half this past season (1-2, 8.46 ERA, 40 hits allowed in 22 1/3 innings)."

Even the Diamondbacks' Web site is addressing the possibility that Wood will go west -- albeit a less optimistic take. Beat reporter Steve Gilbert tells one D-backs fan:

"As far as Wood is concerned, he figures to get a multiyear deal and some think as much as $10 million per year. The D-backs don't have that kind of money to spend ... the club seems content to go into Spring Training with Chad Qualls (as closer)."

The Mets, Indians and Rangers have also been mentioned as possible destinations for Wood. Foxsports.com reports:

"One rival executive predicts that the Rangers will make a strong run at free-agent closer Kerry Wood, who was born in Irving, Tx., a suburb of Dallas; Wood has allowed only three home runs in 90 2/3 innings the past two seasons, making him a reasonable choice for hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark."

Cubs fans: Would you prefer to see Kerry Wood pitching in the American League, or would you welcome the chance to face him in late-inning situations?

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Don't be surprised if he ends up with the Cubs for one more year. He could not sign with anyone by early December and go to arbitration. Maddux did it in '02-'03 with the Braves. Kerry Wood might just be emotionally inclined enough to stay in Chicago for one more year. I hope he does...

Kevin Replies: Good point. I hope he does stay. He's good for the city.

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