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Cubs recycle Kerry Wood

Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood became new Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood Thursday when he signed a free agent contract with the team that let him walk away after the 2008 season.

Once a feared starter, Wood's troublesome right arm has kept him in the bullpen in recent years.

He pitched 46 innings last season starting with a mediocre 20 for the Indians in which he allowed 21 hits and a 6.30 ERA. But after being traded to the Yankees he allowed only 14 hits in 26 innings with a 0.69 ERA.

There was talk that Wood, 33, might stick around in New York but he headed back to Chicago while the Yankees signed his former Cubs rotation mate Mark Prior.

In case you were wondering, Wood can still bring the heat with 49 strikeouts in his 46 frames. He just pitches an inning or so at a time instead of pitching seven or eight at a time, making life a lot easier on the rest of the National League Central.

Wood is 7-6 with a 3.05 ERA in his career against the Cardinals. He struck out 129 in 118 innings and allowed only 81 hits.