Yanks get Wood to shore up bullpen

Updated: August 1, 2010, 7:32 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees acquired pitcher Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, the third deal in less than 24 hours for the World Series champions as they beefed up for the stretch run.

Wood
Wood

"I'm obviously excited to go and pitch in a pennant race and have a chance to get to the postseason and win a championship," Wood said. "That's why we all play the game."

Wood, a hard-throwing, 33-year-old righty, gives the Yankees another setup option alongside Joba Chamberlain for closer Mariano Rivera.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wood's role is up to manager Joe Girardi.

"Joe does a tremendous job of finding out who slots where best, and I think that's done by performance," Cashman said. "Joe will get a feel for all his personnel and eventually we'll slot all these guys out by the way they perform.

"As long as he stays healthy, he's going to be another legitimate choice for us late in games. People will gravitate to their proper roles."

Girardi already has a relationship with the pitcher as he caught Wood in Chicago.

"I know what he's about and that part I don't have to worry about," Girardi said. "I know he's got good stuff, I do. I know he's got a very good fastball, he's got good breaking stuff. And I know he loves to compete. And as I said, I know him more than some of the other guys that we acquired. And that makes me believe he can help us."

The Yankees sent Cleveland a player to be named or $500,000, and the Indians gave New York $2,172,131. New York will pay $1.5 million of the $3,672,131 remaining on Wood's $10.5 million salary this year. His contract includes an $11 million team option for 2011.

The amount of cash the Yankees are getting in the Wood deal is tied to his health the rest of the year, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark.

If he breaks down, the Yankees are on the hook for just the $1.5 million. The Yankees could assume an extra $500,000 of Wood's contract if he's completely healthy all year, or the Indians could choose an extra player to be named later from a list of prospects.

A day earlier, the Yankees obtained outfielder Austin Kearns from the Indians for a player to be named.

Wood was activated from the disabled list by the Indians on Saturday. He had been sidelined by a blister on his right index finger.

It was his second time on the DL this year. He didn't pitch until May 8 because of a strained muscle in his upper back.

Wood was 1-4 with a a 6.30 ERA and eight saves in 23 relief appearances for Cleveland. New York opened a roster spot by designating right-hander Chan Ho Park for assignment.

Cleveland has until Oct. 15 to decide whether to select a player from a designated list or to take the cash.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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