Brandon Wood Rumors


Brandon Wood Rumors: Pirates, Blue Jays

26-year-old infielder Brandon Wood was designated for assignment late Tuesday by the Angels, and there is "zero chance of him clearing waivers," tweets USA Today's Bob Nightengale.  He'd be a fit for many clubs at shortstop or third base, as I outlined here, but he's more likely to land with a club that can give him some leeway to struggle in the Majors.  Claims are due in by noon eastern time today, reports Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The latest:

  • The Blue Jays "expressed interest in trading for Wood as recently as this offseason," according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, so they could be interested now.
  • The Pirates will "almost surely" place a claim, tweets Dunlap.  They have first dibs, as 2010 records are used within the first 30 days of this season to determine waiver order.  The team's 40-man roster is currently full, so they'll either have to designate someone for assignment or put someone on the 60-day DL if they win a claim on Wood.  Keep in mind that claims might not come into play if a team simply trades for Wood.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (Twitter link) that his team discussed going after Wood, but demurred since Milwaukee has no spot for him.  I named the Brewers as one potential candidate for Wood yesterday.



Quick Hits: Braun, Lohse, Franklin, Wood

Some news items as Matt Kemp is once again a walkoff hero for the Dodgers...



Quick Hits: Purke, Wood, Bonderman, Promotions

On this date three years ago, the Blue Jays released Frank Thomas. He retired after a brief return engagment with the Athletics, hitting .301/.419/.555 in a career that should garner Hall of Fame consideration. Here's some links for the evening...

  • TCU left-hander Matt Purke is out indefinitely with a sore shoulder according to Stefan Stevenson of The Star-Telegram. He will be evaluated by Dr. James Andrews later this week. Purke, who was expected to be one of the top picks in this June's draft, spoke to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith last month.
  • Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic says (on Twitter) that the Diamondbacks don't have interest in, or room on the roster for Brandon Wood.
  • Jeremy Bonderman recently visited his former Tigers' teammates during their trip to Seattle, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. The right-hander told reporters that he feels "great," and that he plans to visit the Tigers in Detroit in a few weeks. That would seem to indicate he isn't close to signing with a team.
  • In a piece for ESPN Insider, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus breaks down some factors that are considered when a prospect is promoted to the big leagues or a higher minor league level.
  • ESPN The Magazine published a list of the highest paid athletes from 182 countries. A dozen MLB players make the list, but that comes nowhere close to the number of soccer players making big bucks.



AL West Notes: Felix, Leonys Martin, Brandon Wood

The Rangers and Angels are currently tied for first place in the AL West, with 11-6 records.  The latest from the division:



Which Teams Could Use Brandon Wood?

Brandon Wood seems like he's been an Angels prospect forever.  However, at this point he's 26 years old with 494 career big league plate appearances and a .168/.197/.259 line to his name.  The Halos designated him for assignment last night, and a trade or claim seems likely.

Wood

Since Wood is out of options, any team giving up a prospect of value for him will have to be able to keep him in the Majors rather than risk exposing him to waivers.  Wood can probably play an acceptable shortstop or third base.  This scouting report is three years old, but before the '08 season Baseball America said Wood had unexceptional range but could "handle shortstop just fine," and he was "solid if unspectacular at third base."  He's never played second base, but he might be passable there as well.

I'd like to see a non-contending team install Wood as the starting shortstop and just let him rip for 500 plate appearances.  That plan might be unfair to players who don't have the "advantage" of being out of options.  But the Pirates might as well try him over Ronny Cedeno.  The Mets could be a fit, if they're thinking of trading Jose Reyes in a few months.  Wood could man a middle infield position for the Astros, though they might consider themselves booked between Clint Barmes, Bill Hall, Angel Sanchez, and Jeff Keppinger.  Likewise, the Mariners aren't contenders but would have to do some shuffling to get Wood regular at-bats.

Since they sit atop the AL Central at the moment, I won't rule out the Indians and Royals as contenders.  But the Tribe might be able to get Wood some third base at-bats until they deem Lonnie Chisenhall ready.  Wood could also keep the seat warm at the hot corner for Royals prospect Mike Moustakas.

The Twins, Brewers, and Dodgers were regarded as preseason contenders, but haven't been spectacular in the early going.  All three clubs have question marks at shortstop, though Wood is certainly not a clear upgrade.  The Marlins are cobbling together a solution at third base, though it's actually going well overall.

In the end, I expect Wood to land with a non-contending team like the Pirates.  Like the Royals, the Bucs should still be thinking long-term even though they're technically in contention at the moment.  But even in a lower-pressure environment I'm not sure Wood will get regular playing time, given how far his stock has fallen. 



Angels Designate Brandon Wood For Assignment

The Angels designated Brandon Wood for assignment to create roster space for Erick Aybar, who is coming off of the disabled list, according to Angels TV announcer Victor Rojas (on Twitter). After five years of disappointing performances in the majors, the Angels are finally ready to cut ties with the former first round pick, who is now out of options.

Wood followed up his poor 2010 season (.146/.174/.208 line) with a remarkably similar performance in 14 appearances this season (.154/.154/.231). The one-time top prospect will likely draw interest now that he's available; he has 161 minor league homers to his name, including 43 in 2005.



Wood's Time With Angels Running Out?

Eight years ago, Brandon Wood was a first-round pick (23rd overall) by the Angels. Five years ago, Baseball America dubbed him the third-best prospect in the game. He ranked 8th and 16th on that same list the following two seasons. Now, the 26-year-old Wood may be an organizational afterthought. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Wood's chances of making the Angels' roster are dim, barring a trade or release of fellow infielder Alberto Callaspo.

Wood hit just .146/.174/.208 last season through 243 plate appearances. He managed just six walks while striking out 71 times -- more than 29% of his plate appearances.

Wood is now out of options, meaning he'd have to pass through waivers unclaimed for the Angels to re-assign him to the minor leagues. Despite his struggles, it's unlikely this would happen, as a rebuilding team (DiGiovanna speculates on Toronto, specifically) would give him a chance based on his track record as an elite prospect.

Despite a strong push over the past week in Spring Training (7-19 with 2 HR, a double, and a triple), Wood remains buried on the team's depth chart. Maicer Izturis and Callaspo are ahead of him at third base, Erick Aybar and Izturis are ahead at short, while the combination Kendrys Morales (who will open the year on the DL), Mark Trumbo, and Howie Kendrick are in front of him on the first base depth chart.

DiGiovanna speculates that a trade of Callaspo to a team in need of infield help, such as the Phillies, would create room for Wood to make the club. We heard last week though that the Phillies payroll is tapped out, and Callaspo is set to earn $2MM this season. A release of Callaspo's non-guaranteed contract would also create room. The Angels, however, would still be responsible for part of his salary and would be risking a somewhat known commodity for Wood's upside, which may never surface.

It seems likely that Wood's time as an Angel may be coming to a close, with either a trade or DFA coming in the near future, giving him a chance at a fresh start in a new organization.



Quick Hits: Chipper, Nix, Trout, Rockies

Here's a potpourri of news items as we head into the weekend...



MacPhail Discusses Orioles' Offseason Goals

We heard a few Orioles-related tidbits earlier today, and now MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli provides another handful. Ghiroli discussed the Orioles' offseason with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, and MacPhail shared some thoughts on how the O's intend to approach free agency and trades this winter.

  • The team's primary goal will be obtaining a middle-of-the-order hitter, with no specific position in mind. MacPhail suggests that adding an impact bat would benefit the rest of the lineup, by taking some pressure off the Orioles' current hitters.
  • MacPhail sounds skeptical about acquiring pitching through free agency or trades, calling that approach "fragile and expensive" compared to developing young arms. However, he acknowledged that the club could once again look into acquiring a Kevin Millwood-esque veteran: "You want to have an innings eater because you never know what to expect from the youngsters. So someone like that would certainly be attractive to us."
  • When approaching the free agent market for hitters, the Orioles would rather not take a flier on a Garrett Atkins type again. They are hoping to add players who are less risky than Atkins was, though MacPhail concedes that sometimes the way the market develops makes it necessary to take a gamble.
  • Ghiroli speculates that, while the O's may not be able to attract the very best free agents like Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, they will likely look hard at the group of players in the tier or two below: Victor Martinez, Paul Konerko, Derrek Lee, Jon Garland, and Brandon Webb, to name a few.
  • Ghiroli predicts that the Orioles will stay in contact with most of their impending free agents, especially Ty Wigginton, Cesar Izturis, and Koji Uehara.
  • The O's also made a minor roster move today, adding reliever Jim Hoey to their 40-man roster, reports Ghiroli.



Odds & Ends: Mets, Blue Jays, Wood, Jenks

Congratulations to the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants! Here are your links as the celebration begins...









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