When Alex Wood reached an agreement with the Dodgers on a one-year, $4 million contract on Sunday, it didn’t quite get the attention of, say, Gerrit Cole’s megadeal with the Yankees. The Dodgers are bringing the 29-year-old lefty back after a one-year hiatus in Cincinnati to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, so it shouldn’t have been a headline-grabbing move. Yet it has only been three years since Wood was one of the biggest stories in fantasy, ranking as a top 10 starting pitcher despite totaling 152.1 innings. After having missed much of 2016 with an elbow impingement, Wood went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 24.6 percent strikeout rate.
If 2019 hadn’t happened, this would have been a much more celebrated move, but as it turns out, 2019 did happen. Wood developed back issues in spring training, and he did not make his debut with the Reds until July 28. He started off decently enough, allowing two runs in each of his first two starts, but then he went on to roll off a string of four starts that produced 18 runs (16 earned) in 18.1 innings. He rebounded with a quality start against the Marlins, though all three runs he allowed were solo homers, giving him a total of 11 allowed in 35.2 innings. After that start, Wood’s back stiffened up again, and he would not take another turn in the Reds’ rotation. He finished with only one win and a 5.80 ERA.
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