Red Sox starting pitching target Alex Wood
Alex Wood has been limited by various injuries throughout his career but he’s typically pitched well when he’s able to take the mound.
The lefty was an All-Star in 2017 with the Dodgers when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and finished ninth on the NL Cy Young ballot. He was solid throughout his tenure in Los Angeles, going 31-21 with a 3.54 ERA and 8.4 K/9 over parts of five seasons.
A back injury limited Wood to seven starts in a forgettable one-year stint with the Cincinnati Reds. He returned to the Dodgers last year but hit the injured list with shoulder inflammation after only two starts and he finished the season in the bullpen.
Wood bounced back with a solid 26 starts for the San Francisco Giants this year, going 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA. His 26.0 K% ranked 30th in the majors among pitchers with 130+ innings. A strong strikeout rate is appealing to a Red Sox team with defensive issues in the infield.
Facing his old team in the NLDS, Wood held the Dodgers scoreless over 4 2/3 innings. Wood has been a trustworthy arm on the postseason stage with a 3.11 ERA in 21 career playoff games (three starts).
Wood will be 31 years old next season and he’s projected for a three-year, $30 million deal. That investment is a bit of a risk considering his injury history but the concern would be offset if Boston can convince him to make the final year a club option that vests if he reaches an innings target or if it’s an incentive-laden deal. Whether or not that’s feasible will depend on how much interest he draws on the market.