Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood is thriving in his second season at Wrigley Field, and would love to be put on the fast track for a contract extension like teammates Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, reports Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago:
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"Theo and Jed and them are moving in the right direction," Wood said. "We’ve got a great group of guys there, and everybody plays hard and as of late we’ve played solid ball...
"I’d love to be a part of the core group and stay around Chicago for a while..."
Wood added that he knows that kind of thing is ultimately out of his hands -- and that he still has his work cut out for him -- so his plan at the moment is to just continue giving it his all on the mound and hope for the best.
Acquired from the Reds in the December 2011 deal that sent Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, the 26-year-old Wood has really come into his own in his sophomore campaign with the Cubs. The 5'11 southpaw was the de facto ace of Chicago's staff in the first half, posting a career-best 2.79 earned-run average and holding opponents to fewer than seven hits per nine over 122⅔ innings -- netting him his first All-Star appearance.
Recent history seems to be on Wood's side in terms of getting an extension offer from the Cubs. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija -- who is two years older -- was offered a five-year contract last winter following his breakout 2012 season, but turned it down in the hopes of getting a bigger deal down the line. If Wood can sustain his success through the end of the year, perhaps the Cubs will come to him with a similar offer.