The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Travis Wood to a two-year contract, with a mutual option for the 2019 season. Consistent with club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, pitcher Brian Flynn has been placed on the 60-day disabled list with a stable lumbar vertebral fracture.
Wood, 30, made a career-high 77 appearances with the Chicago Cubs last season, posting a 4-0 record and a 2.95 ERA (20 ER in 61.0 IP). He ranked fifth in the National League, stranding 86.5 percent of his inherited runners (32-of-37). The left-handed pitcher also held lefties to a .128 average (14-for-109), good for second in the Major Leagues (minimum 100 batters faced). He ranked fourth in the NL in road ERA (1.53) among pitchers that worked at least 25.0 innings away from their home park.
Wood had a memorable postseason for the 2016 World Champions, making appearances in nine playoff games, going 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA (2 ER in 6.1 IP) with two walks and seven strikeouts. He earned the win in Game 2 of the National League Division Series vs. San Francisco, retiring all five hitters he faced in a 5-2 triumph. He also became just the second relief pitcher in Major League history to homer in the postseason, when he delivered a solo shot off George Kontos in the fourth inning of Game 2.
A 2013 National League All-Star, Wood has spent the last five seasons with the Cubs, after coming to Chicago in a trade with Cincinnati in 2011. He owns a career record of 43-52 with a 4.00 ERA in 259 games (133 starts). Since transitioning to the bullpen in 2015, he's 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA (39 ER in 119.0 IP) in 122 appearances. In his All-Star season (2013), the lefty went 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA (69 ER in 200.0 IP), tying for sixth in the Majors in quality starts (24), which were the most by a Cubs lefty since 1970 (Ken Holtzman). He's hit nine home runs in his career, third-most among active big league pitchers, behind Madison Bumgarner (14) and Yovani Gallardo (12).