Teams had to decide by 10:59 p.m. CT Monday whether to offer arbitration to their six-year free agents. By doing so, a team guarantees itself two Draft picks for any Type A free agent it loses, and one Draft pick (sandwich pick) for a Type B free agent. The club can not get compensation for any free agent it loses if it does not offer arbitration.
Wood and Howry both were rated as Type A free agents. Jim Edmonds, Daryle Ward and Henry Blanco, the Cubs other free agents, were non-compensatory.
Just because the Cubs made this decision does not mean they cannot continue to negotiate with Wood, who has spent his entire career with the team, or the others. In his first season as the Cubs closer, Wood saved 34 games and posted a 3.26 ERA.
The Cubs were expected to part ways with Howry, 35, who struggled much of the season, the last year of his three-year contract. The right-hander posted a 7-5 record and 5.35 ERA, which included a 6.93 ERA in the second half.
Edmonds batted .235 with 19 homers in 111 games and was considering retirement while Ward hit .216 in 89 games in an injury-filled season. Blanco, who was a mentor to rookie catcher Geovany Soto, hit .292 in 58 games, and could sign a new deal and return to the Cubs.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.