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Chicago earlier signed free agent first baseman Carlos Pena to a $10 million, one-year deal. Wood’s contract will give them some payroll flexibility to make a few more additions before spring training.

“He can still pitch. He can pitch late in the game. He can close when Marmol needs a blow. He can close if Marmol pulls a hamstring … He’s going to be a great influence on the young kids,” Hendry said. “He didn’t come back here to be on a fifth-place team.”

That’s where the Cubs finished last season in the NL Central.

In 12 seasons, Wood is 83-68 with a 3.65 ERA and 62 saves _ 34 of those with the Cubs when he was their closer in 2008.

Wood is one of the most popular players in Cubs‘ history and before a series of injuries struck, his career took off early.

In his fifth major league start in 1998, he struck out 20 Houston Astros in a brilliant one-hitter that made him an immediate star. In 2003 he helped the Cubs reach Game 7 of the NLCS, where he was the losing pitcher despite hitting a home run against the Florida Marlins.

After winning the closer’s role in 2008, he saved 34 of 40 games, his fastball blazing in the mid 90s mph again.

That bullpen career appeared to be nearly over in 2007 as he battled shoulder problems for a third straight season. But he made a stirring comeback in August that year after the pain in his shoulder went away, and he pitched well in relief.