Sports

Travis Wood, Royals finalize $12M, 2-year deal

FILE- This Oct. 19, 2016 file photo shows Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood throwing during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. A person familiar with the deal says the Kansas City Royals and left-hander Travis Wood have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 because the deal is pending a physical. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

FILE- This Oct. 19, 2016 file photo shows Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Travis Wood throwing during the seventh inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. A person familiar with the deal says the Kansas City Royals and left-hander Travis Wood have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 because the deal is pending a physical. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Wood wanted to start, and the Kansas City Royals had a need.

The 30-year-old left-hander and the Royals finalized a $12 million, two-year contract Wednesday. Coming off a World Series title with the Chicago Cubs, Wood hopes to earn a starting slot in a rotation shaken by the death of Yordano Ventura in a car accident.

"He's a winner," general manager Dayton Moore said. "That's what attracted us to Travis. We like the depth of our rotation. You can never have enough experience, enough depth, enough guys that will take the ball to do whatever they have to do to get people out. Travis Wood gives us an opportunity to do that, match up better."

Wood gets $4 million this year and $6.5 million in 2018, and the agreement includes and $8.5 mutual option for 2019 with a $1.5 million buyout.

He was 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA in a career-high 77 appearances with the Chicago Cubs last season, holding lefties to a .128 average.

Primarily a starter during his first five big league seasons, Wood was moved to the bullpen by the Cubs in 2015. As a free agent, he was seeking a team that would allow him to earn a rotation berth.

"I wanted to try to get back to it and they're going to give me an opportunity to do that, so we're going to give it everything I've got," Wood said. "Wherever I fit in is what I'll do."

He will compete for the fifth slot with a pair of right-handers: Chris Young was 1-8 with a 7.39 ERA in 13 starts last season, and Nathan Karns went 6-2 with a 4.56 ERA in 15 starts with Seattle.

A 2013 NL All-Star, Wood spent the last five seasons with the Cubs after arriving in a trade with Cincinnati in 2011. He has a 43-52 career record with a 4.00 ERA in 133 starts and 126 relief appearances. Since transitioning to the bullpen in 2015, he is 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 122 appearances.

Pitcher Brian Flynn was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Notes: Former All-Star OF Reggie Sanders, who finished his 17-year big league career in 2007 with Kansas City, was hired by the Royals as a special adviser to baseball operations.

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