Alex Wood is an interesting case. The Dodgers signed him on a cheap deal for the 2020 season after trading him to the Reds in the 2018-19 offseason in one of their best recent trades. However, Wood hardly pitched for Cincinnati due to injuries, most of which were back related, and when he did take the mound, he posted an ERA North of 5. While these skewed numbers (3.40 career ERA) likely resulted from his injuries, Wood was not a sure bet for 2020.
Wood's 2020 contract was laden with incentives based on innings pitched and similar statistics. If Wood can regain his dominant 2017 form, the Dodgers win, and if he can't, the Dodgers don't lose anything. However, based on Wood's most recent full seasons, 2017, in which he was utterly filthy and shut down the Astros while they were almost certainly cheating in the World Series, and 2018, in which he was inconsistent partly due to injuries but had very strong stretches, I think it's a safe bet that were Wood healthy for the start of the 2020 season, he would have pitched at least as well as in 2018. Moreover, Wood is healthy, and the season should've started about a month ago, but, due to Coronavirus, everything is currently in limbo. Thus, Wood theoretically (you can never know for sure with baseball) would've started the season as a healthy member of the rotation. Hopefully, if the season can start sometime in the next 2 months, he still will be able to do that.
Especially frustrating is that Wood looked very sharp during his Spring Training outings after a trip to Driveline Baseball and a healthy offseason. Based on the facts that the Dodgers were willing to put Wood into their 2020 rotation based purely on his health and veteran status, I think they should offer him a similar if not the same deal for 2021 if there is no 2020 season. The way I see it, all the circumstance are the same: Wood still is looking to prove himself, and the Dodgers need a veteran starter in a fairly young rotation, as Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May would likely begin the season at the AAA level, as they would have in 2020.
I hope the Dodgers can offer Wood a similar contract to keep him around, as he seems popular in the clubhouse and appeared happy to be a Dodger again after being traded a few years ago. Additionally, if he can recapture some of his previous lightning, and all signs indicate that should be possible, he would be a great addition to the starting rotation.
Photo Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times