Mesa, AZ (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs have come to terms on a three- year contract with starting pitcher Kerry Wood. The deal comes six weeks after both sides avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract worth $9.75 million.
Wood's new pact is for the 2004-06 seasons with a mutual option for 2007. The 26-year-old righthander is coming off a career-best 14 wins in 2003. Wood finished the year with a 14-11 mark and a 3.20 ERA while leading the major leagues in strikeouts with 266.
An All-Star last season, Wood limited opponents to a .203 average - the second-lowest mark in the National League. His ERA ranked eighth-best in the NL. Wood allowed two or fewer earned runs in 21 of his starts and surrendered three or fewer hits in 10 appearances.
Wood set a record last season by becoming the fastest pitcher to reach 1,000 career strikeouts in terms of games and innings pitched.
The fourth overall selection in the 1995 draft, Wood has held major league hitters to a .209 average during his career. He has thrown at least 200 innings in each of his last two seasons and holds a career record of 59-41 with a 3.62 ERA in 142 games.
The move by the Cubs is the latest to solidify their rotation for years to come. They also have 18-game winner Mark Prior on their staff, as well as four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, Matt Clement and Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs set a major league record with 1,404 strikeouts last season.