DETROIT -- The Tigers' field of starting pitching candidates added another contestant on Monday, when the team announced the signing of former Padres left-hander Travis Wood.Wood agreed to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invite to Major League camp.Though the rebuilding Tigers have more than enough starting pitching candidates
DETROIT -- The Tigers' field of starting pitching candidates added another contestant on Monday, when the team announced the signing of former Padres left-hander Travis Wood.
Wood agreed to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invite to Major League camp.
Though the rebuilding Tigers have more than enough starting pitching candidates to fill out their rotation, general manager Al Avila said last week they could still add a pitcher or two on Minor League contracts in order to provide depth and add to Spring Training competition. Wood, a veteran of 147 Major League starts across eight seasons and four different clubs, fits the profile of rebound candidates the Tigers have been seeking all offseason.
Wood, who turns 31 next Tuesday, is no stranger to the Tigers, having pitched against them this past season with the Royals. He signed a two-year, $12 million contract with Kansas City last offseason to help bolster the Royals' bullpen, but struggled from the outset before being relegated to low-leverage outings by the end of May.
After three starts in July, the Royals traded Wood to San Diego as part of the deal that sent Trevor Cahill, Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer to Kansas City. Wood spent the rest of the season in the Padres' rotation, but had just three quality starts in 11 tries, going 3-4 with a 6.71 ERA.
Add the two tenures together, and Wood had a 4-7 record and a 6.80 ERA, allowing 118 hits over 94 innings with 45 walks and 65 strikeouts in 2017. It was by far the worst season of his career, directly following two very good seasons with the Cubs. The Padres designated Wood for assignment last month, choosing to pay the remainder of his contract.
Wood's best seasons with the Cubs came under the tutelage of pitching coach Chris Bosio, who is now the Tigers' pitching coach under new manager Ron Gardenhire.
The Tigers will return most of their rotation from last season, including Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Matthew Boyd and Daniel Norris. They also signed Mike Fiers and former Rockies farmhand Ryan Carpenter earlier this offseason. Add in Alex Wilson's bid to convert from reliever and starter, and the Tigers should have a fair amount of competition pushing Boyd and Norris for the final two spots in the rotation.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.