The Pirates claimed shortstop Brandon Wood off waivers from the Angels, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Wood had been designated for assignment by the Halos late Tuesday, and the Pirates were first in line in the waiver order.
The former top prospect is now 26 years old, and in 494 big league plate appearances with the Angels he hasn't had success. The Pirates present the perfect opportunity for redemption, as they're one of few teams that can give Wood regular at-bats at shortstop with some leeway for struggling. The scouting report is three years old, but before the '08 season Baseball America said Wood had unexceptional range but could "handle shortstop just fine" defensively. Though he's a shortstop by trade, Wood has played third base as well. MLB.com's Lyle Spencer wrote recently, "It was fascinating to see how different he was when he was in the lineup at shortstop rather than at third."
The claim was a no-brainer for Pittsburgh, a team with few interesting players in the shortstop pipeline. Ronny Cedeno is currently the starter, though the club sought upgrades all winter. The Pirates were able to get Wood for nothing, after the Angels seemingly kept the asking price high on him for years. The Pirates will have to open up a 40-man roster spot to accommodate Wood, and they've said they'll make the corresponding move this afternoon.
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