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12/13/2008 9:04 AM ET
Indians sign free agent Kerry Wood
Indians sign 31-year old reliever for two years thru 2010; Finished tied for 4th in the NL in 2008 with 34 saves
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CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed free agent RHP KERRY WOOD to a two-year Major League contract with a club option for the 2011 season.

Wood, 31, finished tied for 4th in the National League with 34 saves in 40 chances (85%) in 2008, compiling a record of 5-4 w/a 3.25 ERA in a career-high 65 relief appearances for the Chicago Cubs (66.1IP, 54H, 24ER, 18BB, 84K). Flourishing in his new role, Wood was named to his second National League All-Star Team, averaged 11.4 strikeouts per 9.0IP (84K, 66.1IP) and limited Major League hitters to a .219 average against (54-247, .344SLG/.288OB/.632OPS all'd). His strikeout to walk ratio of 4.67 (84K:18BB) was 5th best among all National League relievers & his .219 average against was 15th best in the NL. His 34 saves were the most by a Cubs pitcher since 1998 as he recorded saves in 12 straight opportunities at one point in June and July. He owns a career relief ERA of 3.16 in 98 appearances out of the bullpen (102.2IP, 76H, 36ER, 125K, .203AVG, .608OPS).

The 6-5 righthander owns a career Major League record of 77-61 with 34 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 276 games/178 starts with the Chicago Cubs from 1998-2008 (1219.1IP, 947H, 494ER, 577BB, 1407K, .215AVG). He has pitched his entire 14-year professional career to date in the Cubs organization after being selected with the 4th overall pick in the 1995 draft out of Grand Prairie (TX) High School. He finished his Cubs career with the 3rd highest strikeout total (1407) in the 133-year history of the organization as he has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per 9.0IP for his career. He was the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year and fanned a rookie and National League record 20 Houston Astros on May 6, 1998. He has finished in the top 5 in the NL in strikeouts four (4) times in his career, leading the Senior Circuit in strikeouts in 2003 with 266 in 211.0IP (14-11, 3.20ERA).

Wood and his wife, Sarah, reside in Scottsdale, Arizona with their two children. The Wood Family has been very active in the community, annually hosting a charity bowling tournament that has raised over $1.5 million over the last five years for the benefit of pediatric cancer research.

"The signing of Kerry Wood brings to the Cleveland Indians a powerful presence in the back of our bullpen and in our clubhouse," said Cleveland Indians Executive Vice President and General Manager MARK SHAPIRO. "Kerry fills our need for a closer and fits our team's culture perfectly as he is a dominant talent and an outstanding teammate and person."

The 40-man roster is now full.

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