NL Rookie of the Year Kerry Wood, who struck out 20 last year to tie the record for a nine-inning game, agreed Friday to a $690,000, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
The deal is by far the largest for a player with less than one year of major-league service. Wood, who has 169 days in the major leagues and made the minimum $170,000 last year, will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2000 season.
"I'm very pleased," Wood said. "The best part about it is that I don't have to worry about it anymore, not that I was worrying about it a lot anyway. I was just pretty much kept up to date on it."
The 21-year-old righty was 13-6 with a 3.40 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 1998. In addition to striking out 20 against Houston last May, which tied Roger Clemens' record, he set a major-league record with 33 strikeouts in during consecutive nine-inning games.
Wood missed the entire month of September because of soreness in his right elbow, then returned for Game 3 of the division series, pitching five innings in a 6-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Wood was sidelined this spring by a upper respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, but said Friday he's 100 percent.
In addition to Wood, the Cubs also agreed to one-year contracts with pitchers Jeremi Gonzalez, Felix Heredia, Rodney Myers and Kurt Miller, and catcher Sandy Martinez.
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