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NL Notes: Nationals, Wood, Hoffman, Padres, Cubs

Alex Wood was a target for the Nationals at the 2019 trade deadline, as Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports that the Nats “nearly acquired” the southpaw, who was then a member of the Reds.  The timing is interesting, as back injuries prevented Wood from making his 2019 debut until July 28, just three days prior to the deadline.  While Wood ended up making seven starts for Cincinnati that season, it’s fair to assume that the Nationals may been considering him as a reliever (or a swingman) given the dire state of Washington’s bullpen at the time.

Needless to say, the Nats don’t regret how things turned out for them at the 2019 deadline, as July 31 acquisition Daniel Hudson played a critical role in Washington capturing the World Series.  But with Wood now a free agent and the Nationals looking for some veteran pitching depth, GM Mike Rizzo could very well revisit the idea of adding the left-hander to the D.C. roster.  Wood was again hampered by injuries in 2020, tossing only 12 2/3 innings for the Dodgers during the regular season and posting a 6.39 ERA.  However, his campaign ended on the high note of a World Series ring and a 1.35 ERA (one run in 6 2/3 relief innings) in four postseason outings.

More from around the senior circuit…

  • The Padres announced that longtime third base coach Glenn Hoffman is retiring from coaching for a new position as a senior advisor in San Diego’s baseball operations department.  Hoffman has been a mainstay in the Padres’ third base box for the last 15 seasons, coming on the heels of seven seasons as the Dodgers’ third base coach (and a stint as the Dodgers’ interim manager in 1998, as Hoffman led the team to a 47-41 record).  As per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, bench coach Bobby Dickerson seems to be the favorite to take over third base coaching duties.
  • The Cubs will be looking for more pitching depth this winter, though Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that four rotation spots may be settled, to some extent.  Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks are obviously entrenched atop the starting five, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein sounds comfortable on Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay taking up the next pair of rotation spots.  There have been questions about Alzolay’s ability to stick in the rotation, but the Cubs were apparently impressed enough with the improvement of his slider to regard him as a starter.  Youngsters Tyson Miller, Brailyn Marquez, and Justin Steele will get a shot at the fifth starter’s role, but Chicago is also looking outside the organization at the middle-to-bottom tier of free agent pitchers, depending on what the Cubs decide to do with the rest of their roster.  Epstein has left open the possibility of bringing Jon Lester back on a short-term deal, but the Cubs are comfortable letting him test the market.
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