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Kerry Wood hoped to have a deal in place by the end of the week to return for a 13th season with the Chicago Cubs, but the free agent pitcher said there was "nothing new" on Friday.
"There's been some more calls, but other teams have been through this too when it's come up and I end up signing back with the Cubs," Wood said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "It takes them a while to actually take the bait and feel like I may not sign back. Some teams were not in, some teams were in early and got out and some teams are back in. It's been kind of a crazy couple of three weeks."
"Both sides are still working on it," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday. "Let's put it that way. All I can say about that is what I've said all along which is that we really want him here, and he really wants to be here so if we can't figure it out then something is really wrong."
With the process carrying on longer than he expected, Wood said he and his agent have heard from several teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers.
"I feel like I've been within minutes of being with four different teams the last week, so things change by the minute," Wood said.
Wood signed a $1.5 million deal with the Cubs last season, leaving a two-year, $10 million contract offer from the Chicago White Sox and a one-year, $5 million offer from the Red Sox on the table. At the end of last season, Wood said he wanted to return to the Cubs, and if they didn't want him he would retire.
So what has changed for Wood since then?
"I feel like I have enough baseball left and didn't want to be forced into retirement," Wood said. "I'd hate to retire and regret it down the road that I had one or two years left and didn't play because of a certain reason or whatever. I didn't really want to limit myself because I didn't think it would be an issue. I thought it would be a no-brainer, and we would get it done as soon as the season was over, but that's baseball. That's just the way things go."
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that the Cubs offered Wood a "substantial raise." Wood said the length of the contract is not important to him, and he would just like to know soon where he is going to play this season.
"I'd still like to make [a decision] here in the next couple of days and get it done," Wood said. "I'm to the point now where I'm throwing and getting ready for spring training, and I just want to focus on where I'm going to be and what I need to do."
Wood was 3-5 with a 3.35 ERA in 55 games for the Cubs last season. He suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in mid-September and had successful arthroscopic surgery on Sept. 30.Information from ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine was used in this report.