The Yankees have "checked in" on free agent left-hander Travis Wood but don't seem to be heavily involved in talks for his services, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag.
Wood, 30, had a 2.95 ERA (4.54 FIP) and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 47 batters in 61 innings (77 appearances) for the Cubs last season.
Left-handed hitters hit just .128 with a .208 OBP and .239 SLG against Wood in 2016.
For his career, lefties are hitting .206/.276/.316 against Wood.
Wood, who has spent the last five seasons with the Cubs after spending the first two years of his career with the Reds, made $6.17 million last season.
Of the recent rumors, the Yankees' interest (at whatever level) in Wood makes the most sense to me.
Wood might have limited his market by holding onto the desire to start, but he could be an intriguing option for the Yankees as a swingman.
The Yankees might believe that the competition for the fourth and fifth starter role will not present them with a great option for a swingman reliever from the remaining hurlers. The club might prefer to leave the young pitchers stretched out, thereby making Wood a potential addition that could prove beneficial to the development of the youngsters.
Alternatively, the Yankees might view Wood's strong lefty on lefty splits as an upgrade to Tommy Layne as a situational left-hander. Layne is arguably the favorite for that role as the roster is currently constructed.
The issue with Wood and any remaining free agents is the Yankees' desire to bring players in on an MLB contract at the bare minimum because of the added 50 percent surcharge they'll incur due to the competitive balance tax. I remain skeptical the Yankees will pull the trigger on an MLB deal before spring training, but if they do, Wood would make an interesting fit.