Ex-Chicago Cubs reliever Kerry Wood has declared that his former team will never be able to attract free agents without a half-billion-dollar renovation plan, according to DNAinfo. “I don’t think you’re gonna get free agent players coming over to spend time here when facilities are what they are compared to everyone else’s in both leagues,” said Wood, who signed as a free agent with the Cubs in January of last year.
Wood’s return to Chicago was cut short when he retired last May, in the midst of a Cubs rebuilding year that saw the departure of star pitcher Ryan Dempster, who’d signed with the Cubs as a free agent in 2004, then resigned with them in 2008; and despite the presence of outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who signed an eight-year, $136 million free agent deal in 2006 to make his home at Wrigley.
Soriano himself recently expressed the importance of free agent signings to the success of the Cubs, telling Chicago Now, “What I see now is that the teams that have the big names, they don’t win. … If you play good at the right time, with the young guys, you can do something.”