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Cubs exploring option of bringing back Wood

Cubs exploring option of bringing back Wood

Cubs exploring option of bringing back Wood
MILWAUKEE -- Kerry Wood shouldn't plan a retirement party anytime soon.

Wood has said he'll retire if he doesn't pitch for the Cubs, and the team may try to get him on the 2012 roster. General manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has talked to Wood, and Hoyer has talked to the pitcher's agent, Pat Rooney.

"We're going to explore bringing him back," Hoyer said.

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Wood, 34, gave the Cubs a hometown discount to return this past season, signing for $1.5 million. He appeared in 55 games and compiled a 3.35 ERA before being shut down with a torn meniscus in his left knee. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee last month and is expected to be fully recovered by Spring Training.

"My biggest view is he's a guy -- and I don't know if toughness is the right word -- but he doesn't shy away from big moments and big games," Hoyer said. "I think that's something that's important. Chicago is a big stage, and he's proven he can do it. I think it's a mistake to take that for granted.

"Not every guy who comes in from outside can handle a major market, and I think he thrives on it. I think it is meaningful the sentiments he expressed toward the city last year when he came back. That was a very meaningful gesture.

"This is where he wants to be, and he proved that last year."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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