Kerry Wood returns to the Cubs

December 17, 2010

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(Getty/Jonathan Daniel)
Kerry Wood seen pitching for the Cubs in 2008.

A former Chicago Cubs star is returning to the team.

The Cubs Friday announced the signing of free agent pitcher Kerry Wood to a one-year contract.

Wood began his career with the Cubs in spectacular fashion in 1998 when he was the National League's Rookie of the Year. In just his fifth game, Wood struck out 20 Houston Astros, while allowing no walks and giving up just an infield hit. The 20 strikeouts tied a Major League record for a nine inning game.

Wood pitched on four Cubs playoff teams and ranks fourth in team history in strikeouts. But he became just as well-known for a series of arm injuries and 14 career trips to the disabled list.

Since leaving the Cubs after the 2008 season, Wood has pitched for Cleveland and the New York Yankees.

He's expected to pitch in the Cubs bullpen in a setup role for closer Carlos Marmol.

Wood reportedly was offered more money by other teams but wanted to return to the Cubs.