Originally created 02/28/04

Wood, Cubs agree on new deal



MESA, Ariz. - Kerry Wood figures the Chicago Cubs are going places, and he wants to stick around and be part of the trip.

Wood agreed Friday to a $32.5 million, three-year contract, the most lucrative deal for a pitcher in club history. It includes a mutual option for the 2007 season that could increase the value to $43 million.

"For me it was pretty simple. This organization gave me the opportunity when I was 18 years old to play professional baseball. That's something I'll never forget," Wood said.

Once lovable losers, the Cubs came within five outs of making the World Series last season, and general manager Jim Hendry has been busy building on that. He signed several veterans, including Greg Maddux, to bolster an already formidable starting rotation that also features Mark Prior.

BRAVES: Jose Capellan is 23 and hasn't pitched above Class A, but a fastball that occasionally tops 100 miles per hour will get him a long look from Atlanta manager Bobby Cox this spring.

Cox saw the 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander in the Instructional League last October and was so impressed he now lists him as the leading darkhorse candidate to win a job.

"Just because he hasn't pitched above Class A doesn't mean he can't come real quick," Cox said.

TRAINER BAN: The New York Yankees banned players' personal trainers from their weight room in response to a new directive from the commissioner's office.

"I met with the club today and told them at this point in time we're shutting it down so we're in compliance," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Personal trainers are now out of the weight room."

Just over a week after Barry Bonds' personal trainer was indicted on charges of distributing illegal steroids, commissioner Bud Selig sent a memorandum to the 30 teams banning personal trainers, friends and agents from "all playing fields, dugouts, clubhouses and related facilities."