Yankees Hope Acquisition of Kerry Wood Will Solidify Back End of Bullpen

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The Yankees' acquisition of Kerry Wood signals two things. One, New York is doing all it can to create a safety net for struggling setup man Joba Chamberlain.

Two, there's another reliever that the Red Sox may have targeted during the waiver-wire period that will not be available.

Wood, who carries with him a price tag of nearly $4 million for the remainder of the year, figured to pass through waivers relatively quick as few teams would take a shot at an aging and oft-injured reliever in the midst of a down year (1-4, 6.30 ERA).

Should the Red Sox forgo a deadline-day acquisition of someone to assist in the bullpen, they will have plenty of opportunities to obtain an arm in August. But with this trade, Wood — who came off the disabled list Saturday after a bout with a blister — will not be among those in the mix.

The hope for New York is that Wood's recent success is a sign of things to come. He has a 3.55 ERA in 14 appearances since the start of June.

Boston and New York have been separated in the standings for some time, but their clear concerns as the deadline approached were virtually identical. Both have had issues with middle relief and the Yankees have seen Chamberlain's rocky campaign severely damage the bridge to superstar closer Mariano Rivera.

Wood could be used in both roles, but in the immediate term may take over Chamberlain's role from time to time, along with David Robertson.

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