After a two-year hiatus, Kerry Wood is returning to the Cubs for the 2011 season.
And reportedly for quite a reduced price: $1.5 million.
Talk about a hometown discount.
Wood, who is expected to meet the media Friday after passing his physical Thursday, will be used as the right-handed setup man for closer Carlos Marmol.
By agreeing to terms with the Cubs, Wood rejoins the team he spent the first 11 years of his career with. Most of that time was in the starting rotation as he went 77-61 with a 3.65 ERA.
Wood, who signed with Cleveland as a free agent in 2009, was traded to the Yankees last July and went 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in 26 innings with New York, working primarily as the set-up man for closer Mariano Rivera.
He would have a similar role with the Cubs, sharing time with lefty setup man Sean Marshall.
The Cubs were reportedly especially pleased with the way Wood pitched in the final few months of 2010.
In August, Wood had an ERA of 0.71 ERA. He pitched 12 innings, giving up 9 hits while walking nine and striking out 15. In September, it was an ERA of 0.00 as he worked 12 innings, giving up 5 hits while walking six and striking out 14.
The signing of Wood also may allow for youngster Andrew Cashner to join the starting rotation on a full-time basis.
Last year in 53 games, the Cubs' 2008 No. 1 draft pick went 2-6 with a 4.80 ERA.
Whether Cashner should remain in the bullpen or move into the starting rotation for 2011 reportedly was a hot topic at the organizational meetings.