LHP ALEX WOOD (2019: 35.2 IP, 5.80 ERA, 7.57 K/9, -0.2 fWAR)
Look, we’ve already established that this little routine probably isn’t going to nail down our mystery man, so allow me to take this time to talk a tiny bit about one of my favorite pitchers on the market: Alex Wood. It almost certainly isn’t happening, but I’d be absolutely ecstatic if the Mariners signed Wood this offseason.
Wood had the first down year of his career in 2019 after back issues sidelined him until late July, where he finally made his season debut. He had a rough go of it in the 35.2 innings he pitched, surrendering a 5.80 ERA while seeing his K/9 go down by nearly a full strikeout from his career average. But his back was just never fully right, which certainly contributed to his struggles on the mound and ultimately landed him back on the Injured List for the remainder of the season.
There should still be tons of interest in Wood, who should be back to full strength by Spring Training. Outside of last season, Wood has been worth nearly 3.0 fWAR for almost every season in his career. He’ll hang around the low 90s on his sinker and come back at hitters with a solid changeup and curveball combo, which should find him hanging around a strikeout per inning on the season.
Wood may aim for a one-year ‘prove it’ deal this offseason and reevaluate things next winter and I’d love to see the Mariners take that chance on him. Perhaps they establish a relationship with him and are able to convince him to stick around as they enter their window of contention.